People studied in art have probably already heard of Cesar Manrique, highly likely the most notable personality ever born in Lanzarote. The name of Cesar Manrique is, however, retained by history not only by force of the contribution of this son of Lanzarote to the artistic life of Spain.
Part of Cesar Manrique’s work also has direct tourist relevance. Indeed, Manrique was professionally formed as an artist, and his career chiefly came down to creating and exhibiting pictorial, sculptural and architectural masterpieces throughout Spain, but in New York too. Manrique contributed to promoting tourism in Lanzarote not by exclusively embellishing the island with its works, which would only have led to appealing to people with strict artistic interests. On the contrary, he also militated for implementing a certain view and philosophy in planning the tourist strategy of the island.
Definitely established in Lanzarote in 1966 after gaining an international artistic reputation, Manrique became aware of the huge tourist potential of Lanzarote. He soon came to influence the regulations of urban planning and directly involved himself in shaping the face of the island. The underlying creed of his entire activity referred to the belief nature and art (art being, probably, a peak of human creation) should cohabit harmoniously into the same picture. Furthermore, nature and art should contribute to the relation between them not by not hindering each other, but by enhancing each other. Thus, art should highlight the character of natural beauty and unveil the natural potential of a place, whereas nature should do the same for art.
It is precisely this synthetic view that led to what regular visitors of Lanzarote know as Jameos del Agua, El Mirador del Rio, Jardin de Cactus. In addition, El Diablo, the restaurant located in the Timanfaya National Park, has also been designed by Manrique, and plenty other attractions in Lanzarote have been conceived under the direct or indirect supervision and influence of Cesar Manrique.
Manrique died in 1992 at age 73, but his legacy continues to stand firm; his legacy, that is, the respect not only for the works of art proper, but for the entire idea of respecting nature, art and the relation between the two. This legacy is being actively promoted and cultivated by the Cesar Manrique Foundation, a nonprofit organization established in 1982 which militates for exploring the tourist potential of Lanzarote in accordance with the spirit which enlivened the activity of Manrique.
For complete information on the life and work of Manrique, as well as on the activity of the foundation, please use the following information: