During our visit to the island of Lanzarote it is inevitable to hear about the most universal Lanzarote artist: César Manrique. His work floods the island, we see his hand when we visit the viewpoint of the river, the Mountains of Fire, the Garden of Cactus or the Jameos del Agua and the wind toys that populate the island. His designs are part of the heart of the island. And to know more about the artist and the man, you have to visit the César Manrique Foundation and the House Museum.
César Marique Foundation
In the town of Tahíche, on top of a lava flow and volcanic bubbles, stands what was the home of César Manrique when he returned from New York. Today it is the headquarters of the César Manrique Foundation.
On the outside, the house is inspired by the characteristic architectural style of the island, walls of pure white with the wood doors and windows painted in green. Inside, the spaces are wide and perfect for the works of art that it houses.
In its luminous rooms not only we find works of César, like his sketches, sculptures, ceramics or his paintings; we can also enjoy the works of Cuixart, Sempere, Miró, Picasso or Chillida among many others.
Going down a basaltic stone staircase, we reach the first volcanic bubble of the five that are part of the house. These spaces were thought as habitable places of the house, each decorated in a different color, hence their names, with their chairs and tables that once received César and his friends.
After passing the first three bubbles we go outside again, where is the pool and the barbecue area, all surrounded by vegetation.
We made the end of the visit through the last two bubbles from which you can access the old studio of César. At the end of the visit we found a small bar and a gift shop where you can have a drink or buy a souvenir or just sit down for a while to admire the great mural that Manrique made in 1992.
Casa Museo César Manrique
In 1988 César left the house of the volcano and moved, looking for a good place to devote himself to painting, to a farm in ruins in Haría, which restored and reconverted in what would be his last house.
For this visit, we must be aware that although we access the interior of the rooms, which are as in life of the artist, with his books, his clothes and his photos, we can not take pictures of the interior, only from the outside. Nonetheless the visit is worth it and just to see the house where he spent his last years and the environment in which he created his art helps you to understand the artist a little more.
The entrance to the house, by the Patio del Limonero, reflects the love of Manrique for the classical architecture of Lanzarote, reinvented by the artist. The stone oven, decorated with farm tools, is just in front of the entrance to the next patio.
In the Patio de la Galería, we find a gallery of wooden latticework and many references to the water in all the decoration. It is the patio wthat really gives access to the house from two points: the guest dressing room and the lobby.
We quickly found the living room and the dining room, a very large area on which the rest of the house turns, full of photos, books, a grand piano, and antique furniture; as well as a collection of ceramics and lamps that he designed in the sixties.
The bedroom, also designed by him, has a large painting that is on top of the head of the bed. The open closet shows part of Cesar’s clothes and access to the large private bathroom that opens with a large window that overlooks the garden.
After walking through the interior of the house we went to the terrace and the pool area, with furniture that takes us back to another era; this part is unfinished due to his untimely death in 1992, since César wanted to cover the pool with a window and communicate it with the living room.
Walking along the path of the garden, we arrived at César’s workshop, a half-buried construction, full of skylights and windows on the sides, where Manrique went every day to paint.
At the exit of the house you can find the garages where there is a car that César painted for the first edition of the Seat Ibiza in 1987.
The visits to the Foundation and the César Manrique House Museum are essential to know more about the soul of the artist, his works, which are intrinsically linked to the island of Lanzarote, are better understood by seeing where he lived and in what way the genius did it. Doubt was César.