/ by Sarah Jamison

  Vittorio Sella (1859 – 1943) was an Italian photographer and mountaineer. Sella was born in the foothills of the Alps. He made a number of significant climbs in the Alps, including the first winter ascents of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, and the first winter traverse of Mont Blanc. He took part in several expeditions further afield and continued to climb into his old age, and made his last attempt on the Matterhorn at seventy six. In spite of the difficulty of carrying bulky and fragile equipment into remote places, the high quality of Sella’s photography was in part due to his use of 30×40 cm photographic plates. He had to invent equipment, including modified pack saddles and ruck sacks, to allow the large glass plates to be transported safely. Many of the mountains he photographed had never been photographically recorded, lending to his photographs’ historical as well as artistic significance. His photographs were widely published and exhibited, and highly praised. Sella died in Biella in 1943. His collection of photographs is now managed by the Sella Foundation (Fondazione Sella) in Biella, Italy.

Vittorio Sella (1859 – 1943) was an Italian photographer and mountaineer. Sella was born in the foothills of the Alps. He made a number of significant climbs in the Alps, including the first winter ascents of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa, and the first winter traverse of Mont Blanc. He took part in several expeditions further afield and continued to climb into his old age, and made his last attempt on the Matterhorn at seventy six. In spite of the difficulty of carrying bulky and fragile equipment into remote places, the high quality of Sella’s photography was in part due to his use of 30×40 cm photographic plates. He had to invent equipment, including modified pack saddles and ruck sacks, to allow the large glass plates to be transported safely. Many of the mountains he photographed had never been photographically recorded, lending to his photographs’ historical as well as artistic significance. His photographs were widely published and exhibited, and highly praised. Sella died in Biella in 1943. His collection of photographs is now managed by the Sella Foundation (Fondazione Sella) in Biella, Italy.