If there is a Spanish artist who stands out especially for his great connection with nature, which he embodied in his works, that is, without a doubt, the great César Manrique (1919-1992).
Of Canarian origin (born Arrecife, Lanzarote), this painter and sculptor unified art and nature, defending the environmental values of the Canary Islands and the entire world.
Let’s see some curiosities about his interesting biography.
He left Architecture to study Art
Although he began studies in Technical Architecture at the University of La Laguna, he left them two years later to enter the Superior School of Fine Arts in San Fernando, where he developed his true vocation, being an art teacher and working as a painter and sculptor.
This inclination for architecture can be seen reflected in the great totality of his works.
His footprint remains in multiple areas of Lanzarote
There are guided tours on the island of Lanzarote that lead us to the spectacular spaces designed by César Manrique, where, in addition to enjoying art, they allow us to fully immerse ourselves in the vegetal and volcanic world that characterizes this peculiar island. Some of these spaces full of creativity in Lanzarote and in other parts of the world are: the Mirador del Río, the Lake of the Costa de Martiánez, the Mirador de la Peña, Jardin de Cactus, Playa Jardin, Parque Marítimo César Manrique and a long etc.
His house, a place that you cannot miss
The artist’s house, or the Taro de Tahíche, more than a thousand meters in area, is one of the most charming places in Lanzarote. Its decoration, in the same style as the places where he captures his art, transports us to nature in a special way.
He created it by taking advantage of the natural space provided by five volcanic bubbles. The building is built on a lava flow product of the past eruptions of the island. We see the fusion that the artist makes of his three great passions: art, architecture and nature.
Colors are also important in his art. These are colors that reflect the characteristics of Lanzarote: red and black (since it is a volcanic island, with dark sand), white (the light that bathes the island), green (the color of nature, of the famous cactus of Lanzarote) and the blue (of the sea that surrounds the island).
The elements he uses in his works are usually natural elements, such as wood, jute or the characteristic volcanic stone of the area.
César Manrique Foundation
The César Manrique Foundation (FCM) was created to preserve and disseminate the work of the great artist. Its main areas of action are the protection of the natural environment, the promotion of the plastic arts and cultural reflection.
It is in the artist’s house, which was considered a cultural center after his death. In it his multiple works are exhibited. A museum that you cannot miss.
Won important awards
He was awarded the World Ecology and Tourism Prize and the Europe Prize, for his great involvement in the defense of nature through his works of art. In addition, he was also awarded other awards such as the Gold Medal for Fine Arts, the Canary Islands Prize for Fine Arts, the Fritz Schumacher Prize from the FSV Foundation in Hamburg … he was also considered Favorite Son of Lanzarote and Arrecife and adopted son of Gran Canaria , Tías, etc.
Lanzarote airport bears his name
This artist is so important in the area that the airport itself bears his name: Cesar Manrique airport.
Books that refer to your work
There are multiple books that thoroughly analyze the architectural and artistic work of César Manrique.
According to people around him, Manrique was a person of great sensitivity and who knew how to spread the passion for beauty and art, as well as his love for nature.
And you, do you know anything more about the life of this great artist?