César Manrique: The great artist of Lanzarote

If there are three colors that characterize Lanzarote, they are the white of its houses, the black of the volcanic stone and the turquoise blue of its waters. Three shades that, when mixed with the imagination, creativity and technique of César Manrique, build an amazing island, full of art wherever you look.
If the island of Lanzarote had its own name, it would be called César and the surname Manrique

Who is Cesar Manrique?

Lifelong islander. César Manrique was born and raised in Lanzarote. Specifically, his childhood was spent in Caleta de Famara, an area that would later inspire him to fight to preserve the natural heritage of the island.

His youth was cut short by the coup d'état of 1936. It was when he joined the Francoist side with which he fought on several peninsular fronts until the end of the war. It was then that he returned to his native island, burned his military suit and formalized the enrollment in architecture. His great passion, that creative part that he showed since he was a child, could finally materialize at the University of La Laguna. But he abandoned his university path for an even bigger dream, moving to Madrid and entering the Superior School of Fine Arts. He graduated and the exhibition tours began. In addition, between the forties and sixties he also held several exhibitions on the island and carried out some murals such as the one in the Parador de Turismo de Arrecife and the one in the Guacimeta Airport.

Of this era it is worth highlighting its international projection. And it is that the Spanish artist moved to New York and exhibited, among other galleries, at the Catherine Viviano.

Already in the seventies, back on the island, he associated with the architect Fernando Higueras. Together they would promote the change of the island starting with the Mirador del Río. All his creations stand out for their perfect integration with the natural environment. A work for which he was awarded in 1976 with the Gold Medal for Tourism Merit and four years later the Medal of Merit for Fine Arts, among many others.

What works can I see in Lanzarote?

If you travel to the island of Lanzarote and get to know a little about the work of César Manrique, you will realize, after a second, that the island exudes the character of the artist. Here we list four works by Manrique that you must visit no matter what in Lanzarote:

River viewpoint: The Famara area is an area more than known by the artist. In his childhood he spent long periods there. Well, in the Risco de Famara and excavated in the rock of a cliff, stands the viewpoint focused on the Chinijo archipelago. A restaurant, a rest area and envy views.

Jameos del Agua: on the island the jameo is known as that hollow channel generated by the passage of lava. Very close to the Cueva de los Verdes we find the Jameos del Agua, two jameos -one small and one large- that house a restaurant and a large swimming pool surrounded by a garden. In that same area there is also an auditorium with fantastic acoustics due to the volcanic stone that forms it.

Cactus Garden: the garden of instagramers. It was opened in 1990 and is a large outdoor museum of a huge number of cactus species from all over the world.

Timanfaya Oven-Roaster: in the Timanfaya National Park during the guided tour of the volcano you can eat chicken made with the volcanic heat. This is thanks to the oven-grill proposed by Manrique that uses geothermal energy to cook food.

And if you still want César Manrique even more, do not hesitate to visit the Foundation that bears his name. A space to get to know the artist almost firsthand.
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