Culture at the heart of Marbella

Louise Swan, December 2016 | Local News and Information

Attractions such as stylish architecture, a glorious climate, top-of-the-range leisure facilities, an elegant promenade and vibrant social scene make Marbella a particularly alluring destination.

However, those factors alone do not tell the full story of why this cosmopolitan town remains such a desirable place to live. Peer under the admittedly attractive surface and a whole world of culture can be found that provides a sensory exploration and thought provoking look at the world of art, with perhaps a special focus on the modern and contemporary.

Taking pride of place in Marbella’s art scene is the prestigious Museo Ralli, located on the famous Golden Mile –just a few minutes down the road from the Callum Swan office. Opened in 2000, this private museum is part of the Ralli Museum Group, which was founded to promote the work of Latin American and Spanish artists, along with those from across Europe and North America.

The other four museums in the organisation are to be found in Punta del Este (Uruguay), Santiago (Chile) and two in Caesarea (Israel). While Marbella’s Ralli does include the works of world-renowned artists, the ethos is to focus more on the quality of the pieces rather that the name of the artist. Having said that, items by Paul Wunderlich, Henry Moore, Marc Chagall, André Masson, Joan Miró, Salvador Dali and Max Ernst in the permanent collection do provide more than a sprinkling of stardust. At present an exhibition on the theme of Woman’s Portraits bringing together pictures from the Ralli collection is designed to show the evolution of how women have been portrayed through the centuries.

Visiting this elegant, art centre provides an excellent opportunity to see works by important artists including André Derain, Marie Laurencin, Louis Latapie and Nicolás Tarkhoff. Following the principles of the Ralli’s founders, Harry and Martine Recanati, entrance to the museum and its temporary exhibition is entirely free.

Another must-visit of art in Marbella is the Museo del Grabado Contemporáneo, which is due to open its doors to the public in July after extensive reformation works. It is a much-anticipated event as this popular museum temporarily closed on June 30th 2015 to enable an extension to be added and the exhibition halls to be rearranged. The gallery is located in the historic former Hospital Bazán, in Marbella’s Old Town, which provides a perfect setting for contemporary Spanish art and graphic works, particularly engravings. Within its various rooms are displayed distinguished examples of modern works by artists of the calibre of Miró, Barceló, Picasso, Tápies, Chillida, Saura, José Hernández and Caruncho.

These two centres of culture offer a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of modern and contemporary art, and add to Marbella’s appeal as a destination that truly has something for everyone.

You can email me directly on or leave your details here, I would be delighted to assist.


Callum Swan, Marbella luxury estate agent +34 952 81 06 08