Gabriel Loppé: Una vita sul Monte Bianco

The exhibition on the works of the painter and climber who loved these mountains so much.

Skyway Monte Bianco in collaboration with the Association Amis de Gabriel Loppé and John Mitchell Fine Paintings organized an exhibition on the works of the painter and climber Gabriel Loppé (1825-1913) using photographic reproductions of his paintings.

The dominant theme in this instance is the Mont Blanc massif, an area the painter was particularly fond of and one he spent over fifty years exploring in its entirety.

Born in 1825 in Montpellier, Gabriel Loppé grew up in Paris. In 1842, aged seventeen, he first went on a climb and discovered the joys of mountain walks. Coming across two painters at work on the mountain, he was fascinated to watch them record what lay in front of them. Then and there, he decided that he too should become a landscape painter.

A few years later when he first set foot on a glacier in Meiringen with an English climber, it felt like a revelation: climbing and painting would govern the rest of his life.

Garbiel Loppé was the first painter of the high mountain world, using his brushes to transcribe the beauty, the emotions and feelings brought about by being in the mountains, a sensation familiar to all those who had spent time at altitude. And at that time they were a select few with mountain photography still very much in its infancy. Loppé proved to be an authentic witness to this pristine and deserted scenery, a world he spent so much time in.

In 1853, Loppé came across Chamonix and its valleys and would never abandon the place.

Loppé was known to have climbed Mont Blanc around forty times. It was his kingdom. He loved to paint on the spot. His favourite place was the top of Mont Blanc from where he would paint from dawn to dusk.

From the 1880s onwards, he also spent a lot of time taking photographs whilst he continued painting until the very end of his life in 1913.


Crevasses and seracs on the Mer de Glace with the Aiguille du Dru behind.
Courtesy of Amis du Vieux Chamonix

The reproduction photographs on display are the exact same size as the original pictures except for the large Glacier du Géant (image above) exhibited at the beginning.

The exhibition can be visited on the opening days of the cable car in the Pavillon station at 2,200 meters.

A further exhibition, due to open in December 2022 at Fort Bard, will be dedicated to Loppé as a travelling artist and will assemble many pictures done throughout Europe, featuring scenes from cities, mountains, the seaside and countryside as well as photographs and some of his own climbing gear.