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Getaway to the Fine Arts Museum of Tenerife

In the 19th century, Santa Cruz de Tenerife experienced a true golden age. Since 1833 it has been the capital of the Canary Islands and its harbor is an obligatory coal supply point on the routes from Europe to Central America, South America and West Africa.

The city then begins its expansion. It was at the end of the 19th century that the city's Museum of Fine Arts emerged.

I invite you to explore its rooms with some of the emblematic works that it offers to the visitor...


Façade du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Santa Cruz de Tenerife. © Fabrice Roy
Façade du Musée des Beaux-Arts de Santa Cruz de Tenerife. © Fabrice Roy

Designed as a municipal museum and library, the Museum of Fine Arts is the first building built specifically for this purpose in the Canary Islands, giving it a pioneering role in the history of the islands' architecture. On its facade are ten busts of intellectuals and thinkers, all important figures in the history and culture of Tenerife.


Joaquin Sorolla. Portrait de Fernando Viscai - 1920.
Joaquin Sorolla. Portrait de Fernando Viscai - 1920.

Three key figures led to the founding of the museum in 1899, the painters Pedro Tarquis Soria and Teodomiro Robayna and the journalist and politician Patricio Estévanez.

The first exhibition will take place the same year, with the first works located in the premises of a former Franciscan convent. .


Baigneuses. Pedro de Guezala. (1896-1960) Non daté
Baigneuses. Pedro de Guezala. (1896-1960) Non daté

It was not until 1933 that the current space, the work of architect Eladio Laredo, was inaugurated.

The museum houses numerous works by Canarian, Spanish and Dutch painters.

Thus, Pedro de Guezala, who loves the natural environment and demonstrates exceptional talent in representing it. The fact that his father died when Guezala was five years old marked the introspection that characterized him. Appointed professor at the School of Arts and Artistic Crafts in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, he will give drawing lessons there.


Ile de Capri. Juan Botas y Chirlanda (1882-1917) Non daté
Ile de Capri. Juan Botas y Chirlanda (1882-1917) Non daté

Introduced to realism, Juan Botas y Ghirlanda went through an impressionist stage, overtaken by a linearist technique to the point of subordinating drawing and composition in favor of color, in which he mainly produced landscapes, a few portraits and caricatures.


 Angel Romero Mateos.Le retour du Marché. 1870
Angel Romero Mateos.Le retour du Marché. 1870

A disciple of Joaquin Sorolla, Ángel Romero Mateos learned from the latter the treatment of light in his paintings: warm shadows and the use of the most brilliant colors, where the objects in the sun are not simple illuminated shapes, but rather reverberate and give off their own light.


Alvaro Farina. Rue Marcadet (1929)
Alvaro Farina. Rue Marcadet (1929)

Little is known about Alvaro Farina. His particular style is reminiscent of that of Utrillo, of whom he was a contemporary, in his geometric treatment of Parisian buildings...

Oscar Dominguez.Hommage à Manolete.1954
Oscar Dominguez.Hommage à Manolete.1954

Oscar Dominguez was born on the island of Tenerife in 1902. In 1927, to supervise the affairs of his father, a wealthy agricultural merchant, he came to Paris for the first time. He discovers the nightlife, spending the family money. His first surrealist paintings date from 1932. In 1934, he joined the Parisian group into which he introduced, according to André Breton, “the ardent and fragrant whistle of the Canary Islands. » Nicknamed “the dragon rider of the Canaries” by André Breton, “the badly polished bear with the head of a gigantic hidalgo” by the photographer Brassaï, more simply “Putchie” by his mistress the Viscountess de Noailles, Domínguez, extreme, mythical character , can be violent. Narrated by Irène Hamoir, his fight with the painter Esteban Francés in 1938 has remained famous in the history of surrealism: held by Louis Scutenaire, Domínguez throws a bottle in the face of Esteban Francés, surrounded by Victor Brauner: it is the latter who is affected, which causes him to lose his left eye. He killed himself by cutting his veins open on December 31, 1957 in his workshop on rue Campagne-Première in Montparnasse.


Peter Coecke van Aelst. Tryptique de Nava y Grimon. 1546
Peter Coecke van Aelst. Tryptique de Nava y Grimon. 1546

The triptych of Nava and Grimon is an oil on panel attributed, at least for the central panel, to the Dutch artist Peter Coecke Van Aelst. The painting features three different scenes from the birth and childhood of Christ: the central composition depicting the Nativity, the left panel depicting the Circumcision of Jesus and the right panel depicting the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.


Rue José Murphy, 12

Santa Cruz de Ténérife



In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the 19th century in France...




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