César Manrique

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César Manrique (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈθesaɾ manˈrike] or [ˈsesaɾ manˈrike]) (24 April 1919 - 25 September 1992) was a Spanish artist, sculptor, architect and activist from Lanzarote.

Mosaic by César Manrique

Early life[edit]

Wind Toy by César Manrique

Manrique was born in Arrecife, Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. He fought in the Spanish Civil War as a volunteer in the artillery unit on Franco's side. He attended the University of La Laguna to study architecture, but after two years he quit his studies.


He moved to Madrid in 1945 and received a scholarship for the Art School of San Fernando, where he graduated as a teacher of art and painting. Between 1964 and 1966 he lived in New York City, where a grant from Nelson Rockefeller allowed him to rent his own studio. He painted many works in New York, which were exhibited in the prestigious "Catherine Viviano" gallery.[1]

Manrique returned to Lanzarote in 1966. His legacy on the island includes the art, culture and tourism centre at Jameos del Agua (1963-87); his Volcano House, Taro de Tahiche (1968); the restaurant at the restored Castillo de San José at Arrecife (1976); the visitors center at the Timanfaya National Park (1971); his Palm Grove House at Haria (1986); the Mirador del Rio (1973), and the Jardin de Cactus at Guatiza. He had a major influence on the planning regulations on Lanzarote following his recognition of its potential for tourism and lobbied successfully to encourage the sustainable development of the industry.[2] One aspect of this is the lack of high rise hotels on the island. Those that are there are in generally keeping with the use of traditional colours in their exterior decoration.


Manrique died in a car accident at Tahíche, Teguise, very near the Fundación, his Lanzarote home, in 1992. He was aged 72.[3]

César Manrique Foundation[edit]

One of the living spaces created within the volcanic bubble
The large mural outside the house, in the fountain area

The César Manrique foundation was set up in 1982 by César Manrique and a group of friends but wasn't officially opened until 1992 after Manrique died. The foundation, based at Manrique's home, following his move to a townhouse in the North of the Island, is a private, non-profit organisation set-up to allow tourists access to Manrique's home.[4] The foundation is also an art-gallery featuring art created by Manrique himself as well as Art that he acquired during his life. The gallery includes original sketches by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. The money the foundation takes from ticket sales goes toward raising awareness about the art of Lanzarote, as well as being used to fund the foundation's "artistic, cultural and environmental activities".

Manrique's home itself is built within a 3,000 m2 lot, on the site of the Lanzarote eruptions in the 18th century, and was created upon Manrique's return from New York City in 1966. The rooms on the first floor, including the artist studios, were created with the intention of keeping with Lanzarote traditions, yet making them more modern with open spaces and large windows. The "ground floor", more appropriately titled the "basement", contains five areas situated within volcanic bubbles, the rooms bored into volcanic basalt. There is a central cave which houses a recreational area, including a swimming pool, a barbecue and a small dance floor.

Once outside the main house, the visitor comes to the outside area, where there is a small square with a fountain in the middle before approaching a small café area and the visitor shop. This area was once César Manrique's garage.

One of the foundation's fundamental missions is to oppose the spread of high-rise concrete across the Spanish coastline and her island. The foundation recently brought attention to 24 illegally erected hotels in Lanzarote. [5] .



Mirador del Rio
Jameos del Agua

In Lanzarote:

Outside Lanzarote:

Additional images[edit]


  1. ^ Biography César Manrique
  2. ^ Neild, Barry (2018-11-20). "How one man stopped overtourism in its tracks". CNN Travel. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  3. ^ Martin, Carmelo (1992-09-25). "Fallece César Manrique, el artista que mejor supo unir arte y naturaleza". El País (in Spanish). ISSN 1134-6582. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
  4. ^ Neild, Barry (2018-11-20). "How one man stopped overtourism in its tracks". CNN Travel. Retrieved 2018-12-19.
  5. ^ Building craze threatens to end Lanzarote's biosphere status The Independent. 7 July 2010
  • César, Manrique Arquitectura inédita
  • ALEJANDRO SCARPA, 2019. César Manrique, acupuntura territorial en Lanzarote. ISBN 978-84-12-00223-2. (Spanish edition with English summarized translations).
  • Lancelot Internacional, Especial: César Manrique, Lanzarote, 3. Revisada 1996, Lanzarote. Idiomas: Español, Inglés y Alemán (3rd revision 1996, Lanzarote. Languages: English, German and Spanish).

External links[edit]