Artist, Architect and general all-rounder, César Manrique, was born in Arrecife the capital city of Lanzarote in 1919 and is responsible for many art installations and other structures on the Island, including the Monumento al Campesino and the Mirador del Rio.
He first came to prominence in 1945 when, following an exhibition of his representational paintings, he moved to Madrid and became interested in contemporary art which led to international acclaim for his work. After three years in the USA he returned to Lanzarote in the late 1960s at a time when the tourism boom was in full swing.
Manrique soon began to transform the landscape by converting lave tunnels and caves into magical underground features which continue to attract tourists, as indeed do his various monuments and works of art found throughout the Island. Fascinating as all these things are, perhaps his greatest contribution was to persuade the authorities not to imitate the other Canary Islands and the Spanish Costas by refraining from building high-rise hotels and encouraging tradition low rise developments.
Although the great man is no longer with us, the foundation created in his name, Fundación César Manrique ensures that his tenets are adhered to and continues to promote ‘green’ issues such as environmental protection and conservation.