An illustrated look at two early-twentieth-century explorers whose work took them to deserts and mountain peaks, coinciding with the rise of modern photography along the way.
Vittorio Sella (1859–1943) was the foremost mountaineering photographer of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, producing widely celebrated images of K2 and other famed peaks. Sir Wilfred Thesiger (1910–2003) was a writer, photographer, and explorer, whose greatest journey took him across the Rub' al Khali, a vast desert encompassing much of the Arabian Peninsula. In his new book, Roger Härtl considers these two far-flung figures side by side, telling the stories of two influential explorers through their bibliographic and photographic work, and creating a tapestry where exploration, writing, and image-making all conjoin. As Härtl shows in this richly illustrated volume, the triumphs of Sella and Thesiger coincided with the end of a golden age of geographical exploration and with the rise of photography as we know it today.
Roger Härtl is the Hansen-MacDonald Endowed Professor of Neurological Surgery and director of spinal surgery at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, as well as the neurosurgeon for the New York Giants.