Giuseppe Venanzio Sella

The archive contains about 50 photographs (negatives and positives) produced  using various techniques by Gaudenzio Venanzio Sella (1823-1876), one of the first Biellese photographers and the first in Italy to write in 1856 a theoretical and practical treatise on photography: Il plico del fotografo, ovvero Arte pratica e teorica di disegnare uomini e cose sopra vetro, metallo,ecc. col mezzo dell’azione della luce, translated and published the following year in France. In 1863 a revised and considerably expanded second edition was printed. The subjects of about 50 pictures are mainly portraits and images of historic buildings, monuments and industrial factories, not only in the Biellese but also in Turin, Racconigi and Paris. The Foundation also conserves all the photographic literature acquired by Gaudenzio Venanzio Sella during his life, including the first issues of the principal Italian and European magazines on the subject. His son Vittorio Sella made use of his photographic repertory, all the theoretical production and some of his laboratory material when he took his frst photographs in 1879. Between 2019 and 2020 the Sella Foundation organised an exhibition: L’altra macchina. Un industriale Biellese e l’affermazione della  fotografia in Italia, curated by Pierangelo Cavanna on the subject of the life of Giuseppe Venanzio and his photographic work in particular.