Photo research: Alberto Pelloux and Clarence Bicknell

Our assumption has been that the well-known photo of Bicknell and Pelloux together was taken in the high mountains, maybe in the Mercantour above the Vallée des Merveilles and Casterino.

Not a bit of it; the gentlemen are taking an afternoon stroll and are low in the heat of the Italian Riviera, just a couple of kilometres from the Hanbury Gardens which fall into the Mediterranean Sea between Ventimiglia and Menton. Luca Barale spotted the truth of the location and wrote to me in April 2021:

“Here is an annotated version of the photograph. The church of Mortola Superiore and the woody hill to its left is quite well recognizable. I do not think the sea to be actually visible in the image, (the furthest thing visible is the snowy Mont Agel ridge), though the shooting point is actually very close to the sea, just a few hundred metres as the crow flies.”

You can download and read the full text of Marcus’s article about the photo, with other images, by clicking here.

Luca Barale’s article in the journal of the Italian Geological Society was published today at