Given the indisputable popularity of the Alps as a ski destination, it’s difficult to imagine a time when the slopes were clear of tracks; when “the first Alpinists were considered mad, and skiers were a curiosity,” as the team behind The Alps 1900. A Portrait in Color puts it.
It’s this exact moment in time that the new Taschen book captures for readers. From author Agnès Couzy, a writer and mountaineer, and editor Sabine Arqué, a photo researcher, editor, and author, this 600-page tome pulls together postcards, photographs, and photochromes (color images produced from black-and-white negatives) of the Alps through the 19th and 20th centuries—all in full, living color. “These images have been selected for their beauty, their dreaminess, and because I love them,” says Arqué. “I’m not an alpinist but I’ve loved the Alps since I discovered them with my parents at the age of 15.”
Below, Couzy and Arqué tell the story behind a selection of photos found across the pages of The Alps 1900. A Portrait in Color—from images of the now-receding Rhône Glacier, to glamorous mountain resorts like the Caux Palace Hotel beside Lake Geneva. You’ll be forgiven for needing to book a modern-day trip to the Alps immediately after reading.
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