Auguste-Rosalie Bisson

by Lorenzo Piccoli

Auguste-Rosalie Bisson (1826–1900) was a French photographer. In 1860, together with his brother Louis-François, he attempted to take pictures from the summit of Mont Blanc. The expedition failed.

One year later, in 1861, Auguste-Rosalie Bisson went back to the Month Blanc, taking with him 25 porters to carry his equipment. The team reached the 15,781-foot summit on July 25, 1861. It was only during the descent that Bisson set up the tent and cameras, pose the figures in positions emblematic of their climb, and make pictures of the “ascent” (though the team’s tracks are visible on the high snowy slope in the background).

These, and the other photos of Auguste-Rosalie Bisson, are difficult to find. Some of them are exposed at MoMa and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Go and see them, if you have a chance.