Marbella is not exactly the kind of place you would expect to find a museum and art gallery full of surrealist paintings and sculptures from a multitude of world famous artists. Yet just a few metres from Coral Beach off the N-340 is the Museo Ralli, Marbella, one of a group of five with the others being at Santiago de Chile, Caesarea (2), and Punta Del Este.
The first Ralli was founded in 1988 in Uruguay with the group of Ralli Museums housing one of the most important collections of contemporary Latin American art in the world. They are all open to the public free of charge and were founded by Harry Recanati https://www.rallimuseums.com/en/Harry_Recanati. Harry was a banker, becoming General Manager of the Israel Discount Bank at only 26 years of age on the death of his father in 1945. In 1952 he moved to Switzerland and established a series of private banks in Europe and South America, and in 1962 he acquired the Ralli Brothers of London Bank too. He then moved home and settled in London.
His business travels took him often to South America where he became interested in the local art world …. and he began to collect.
Today, The Recanati Collection is considered one of the largest collections of Latin American art in the world.
Harry Recanati retired in 1980 to develop his Art Foundation that is not supported by donations, grants, fees, or subscriptions. He died in 2011.
You can explore and read about these wonderful museums here Ralli Museums
It was a scorching hot day and we took the short drive from Estepona to Marbella Coral Beach with the AirCon blowing full blast; was this a good day to be visiting an art gallery? We parked just a few metres from the beach in a small parking area for private apartments, invited in by a security man who we gave a couple of Euros. This was only 50 metres from the Gallery but we were dripping in the heat as we entered. It was like walking into a church, not architecturally, but cool, tiled floor, and ….. empty of people, except for the nice welcoming lady on Reception who gave us a leaflet and an explanation of the various rooms. None of which made any sense to a pair of surrealism ignoramuses!
I think I can honestly say that this was the first time I have seen Dr C genuinely interested in paintings and sculptures; the colours and subject matter were fascinating and invited so many thoughts and questions as we wandered around. It’s not a large museum, typically you might spend an hour here unless you were a student of art or had come to see something specific. But it was an excellent introduction to the surrealist movement and made us more alert to and aware of such paintings as we visited other museums subsequently across Europe and America. Here’s a few examples we really enjoyed: