Giovanni Varale

Whymper, 1892









Date of birth: 29-09-1859

Died: 07-10-1921

Place of birth: Biella

Died: Biella

Photographer, free-lance journalist and mountaineer, he was an active member of the Biella branch of the CAI. In 1888, with the Italian Alpine Club, he published by Amosso “Il Colle del Gigante catena del M. Bianco con due vedute di Vittorio Besso”. On 30 April 1889 the monthly magazine of the CAI dedicated these lines to him: “Mr. Giovanni Varale, member of the Biella branch, while in Gressoney during the summer took a number of photographs, some of which he offered to the Queen who greatly appreciated them”. In August 1892 he photographed Edward Whymper, conqueror of the Matterhorn, in Courmayeur just before his ascent of Mont Blanc. He was responsible for the illustrations in the souvenir album of the XXX Alpine Congress which took place in Biella in 1898. In 1899 (reprinted in 1902), he published the “Guida illustrata della valle di Challant”, (“Illustrated guide to the Valley of Chalant”) revealing his thorough knowledge of and familiarity with the places and inhabitants of the Aosta Valley. Correspondent for the “Corriere della Sera”, the “Gazzetta del Popolo” and in particular the “Gazzetta del Popolo della Domenica” where “photographs of the most important events of the Biellese were published for over a decade”. With Cornelio Cucco he published “Reginae Montis Oropae: an artistic and historic collection of the MCMXX centenary  celebrations” published on the occasion of the IV centenary of the Incoronation of the Madonna of Oropa. From: Studi e Ricerche sulla fotografia nel Biellese. Vol. 2°, 2006, pp. 312-313 (Studies and research about photography in the Biellese Vol.2, 2006, pp. 312-313)