Guide / Canary
The César Manrique Foundation
offers a fascinating art gallery and museum, situated in the studio and
home where the artist once lived. Based in Taro de Tahiche on the
Canary island of Lanzarote, the house is a work of art in itself and probably
best represents Manrique’s personal and artistic ideals.
house was built in 1968 on the top of, and around, a volcanic trail, originally
caused by an eruption back in 1730-36. The lower level of the house
is formed naturally from five volcanic bubbles, making an unusual and natural
The central bubble in the
house offers a spacious relaxation area with swimming pool, dining room,
barbeque and even a small dance floor. Another bubble contains the
painter’s old studio.
The exterior of the house
and the upper level are inspired by the traditional Lanzarote architecture.
The lush garden (pictured top) displays a mural painted by the artist.
Manrique Foundation was created in 1992 when Manrique died at the age
of 73. It is a non-profit, private institution receiving around 300,000
visitors every year. The foundation's focus is the arts, the natural
environment and cultural reflection, and the foundation does much
important work in the fields of plastic arts, culture and the environment.
Besides displaying the work
of Manrique himself, the gallery also includes original sketches by the
well known Spanish artists, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró.
Money raised through ticket
sales is used to raise awareness to the art of the island as well as to
fund the foundation's "artistic, cultural and environmental activities."
was one of the first to recognize the tourist potential in Lanzarote and
successfully lobbied with the island’s authorities to encourage the sympathetic
development of tourism. At that time, this meant no high-rise hotels
on the island and the hotels that did exist were in keeping with the traditional
colours of the island.
its inception, the foundation has gone on to oppose the more recent, ongoing
spread of high-rise concrete buildings across both the Spanish coastline
and the island itself.
The foundation has recently
brought to light the existence of 24 illegally erected hotels on
the island of Lanzarote.
Born in Arrecife, Lanzarote
on April 24, 1919, César
Manrique first fought in the Spanish Civil War as a volunteer in the
artillery unit under Franco.
He then attended the University
of La Laguna to study architecture, leaving his studies after two years.
In 1945, Manrique moved to Madrid and received a scholarship from the Art
School of San Fernando, where he eventually graduated as a teacher of art
During the years between
1964 and 1966, Manrique lived in New York where he received a grant from
Nelson Rockefeller, allowing him to rent his own studio in the city.
He painted many works in New York, which were then exhibited in the Catherine
Viviano gallery in the city.
Manrique passed away at the
age of 73 in a car accident close to the house, which was, at the time,
his Lanzarote home.
Enjoy the video below, which
takes you on a brief tour of this fascinating house:
1. Garden and mural Creative
Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Gernot
2. Living space public domain
3. Living space 2 CC by-SA
4. Lava seemingly flowing
into the house and artwork portrait photo CC by-SA Balou46
Guide / Canary