Son of emigrants, natives of Dalpe (Switzerland), Victor Gianella was born in Paris on the 5th of January of 1918.
After finishing compulsory education, he attends the “Ecole Estienne”
(Arts and Crafting of books section ) of the City of Paris from 1934 to 1937.
The dramatical vicissitudes that occurred during the Second World War, will lead him to Austria and Russia. Once returned to Paris he exercises the profession of typographer.
In 1949 he settles in Brusino Arsizio (Switzerland). It's from these early years following WWII, that his interest for photography becomes manifest. Landscapes, plain rural architectures and the elements of nature are his favorite subjects. Through these pictures he reveals his essentially poetical and contemplative glance.
Towards the end of the Sixties a new creative evolution gains ground. He disregards now the landscapes, the classical architectural forms of Tuscany to approach, with a discreet and mysterious eye, the world of objects, both naturals and technological.
This evolution will accentuate in the years that will follow. Once discovered the object in its essential plastic forms, in its chromatic richness, in its versatility of meanings, Gianella immerses himself among the deepest and most tortuous details “forgotten” by the traditional perception of conventional photography.
Away from any existing school, from any trend, he opens a new creative path within contemporary photography. The photographic lenses will not reflect the real subject in their realistic and natural dimensions, but rather will transform it in an autonomous pictorial world, rich with casual analogies, towards the lyrical abstractionism of contemporary painting. Analogies that are thus testifying for the new trend and for the richness of Victor Gianella's photographic vision.

Daniele Gianella 1978

1918 Born in Paris from parents natives of Dalpe, Ticino (Switzerland).

1924/33 Primary and secondary studies in Paris.

1934 Receives from his mother, as a gift, his very first camera.

1934/37 Enters the “Ecole Estienne”, Arts and Crafting of books section.

1938/40 Performs military service in the 18th Infantry regiment at Nancy.

1943/45 Deportation and the dramatic ordeal around the National Socialism ideological world.

1945 Exercises the profession of typographer, photography becomes a passion.

1947 Marries Clara Darani, will have three children: Francesco, Daniele and Simona (tragically perished in the midst of her youth).

1949 Settles in Switzerland, in the village of Brusino.

1950/60 First photographic period. Themes: landscapes, rural architecture, elements of nature.

1960/69 Abandons traditional photography, his style emerges and the new language defines with strength and rigor.


Casually meets the renowned historian of photography Helmut Gernsheim
who remains astonished by the artistic value of Victor Gianella's work. A profound
friendship rises and the exhibition activity begins.

1978 International consecration. At the Rencontres d'Arles, France, Helmut Gernsheim presents Victor Gianella during a press conference that became historical.

1988 The editor Schmid in Zurich (Switzerland) publishes ABSTRACTIONS.

2007 Decides to put into digital format his analogical photographic archive.