Son o Francisca and Gumersindo a typical middle class family originating from Fuerteventura. His father was a food merchant and his grandfather the notary. He also had a twin sister, another sister and a brother.
Cèsar Manrique was schooled in Lanzarote
He went on to study quantity surveying in Tenerife at La Laguna University, he volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War on Franco’s side. An evidently hugely traumatic experience for him, he returned at the end of the war in 1939 refusing to speak about it, allegedly burning his uniform on the roof of his house the day he returned home.
Following his two years in University he went on to Madrid in 1945 to the San Fernando School of Fine Art, spending five years there and graduating with a teaching diploma in drawing and painting.
Whilst in Madrid he met Pepi Gomez who he was to live with for eighteen years until her death in 1963. In the autumn of the following year he took the advice of his cousin, Manual Manrique and travelled to join him in New York, where he stayed for two years, painting and exhibiting his work until his return to Lanzarote in 1966.
César Manrique was determined on his return to “turn my native island into one of the most beautiful places in the world” and set about doing this by campaigning the importance of traditional Lanzarote architecture and creating the seven tourist attractions of Lanzarote as well as being instrumental is the controlled growth of urban areas to incorporate the need for tourist accommodation.
It is almost impossible to imagine Lanzarote without the influence and dedication of César Manrique. Unfortunately this great man died in a traffic accident in 1992 at the age of 73, close to the César Manrique Foundation. His work lives on.
César Manrique’s Father
His father bought a plot of land next to the sea in Caleta de Famara in 1934 and built a house there. The long summer holidays spent there were to leave a lasting impression on the young César Manrique and sure to have influenced his passion for Lanzarote and its natural beauty. “My greatest happiness is to recall a happy childhood, five month summer vacations in the Caleta and the Famara Beach, with its eight kilometers of clean and fine sand framed by cliffs of more than four hundred meters high that reflected on the beach like a mirror. That image has been engraved on my soul as something of extraordinary beauty that I will never forget in all of my life”