Because he could

Not far away from the Alhambra in Granada, Spain you can visit the Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta with a museum and a very special artificial garden. I must admit, when I entered the building I was pretty unsure if it was worth the detour. But in the end I was pretty happy that I did it. The fundación preserves the heritage of José María Rodríguez-Acosta, a Spanish painter from Granada – and in my opinion a crazy and cool guy.

At the beginning of the tour you’re lead into a museum showing a collection of different art works and archaeological items. Later on you can visit an artificial garden designed by the painter. The story goes like this: José María Rodríguez-Acosta was the son of a banker family. He never had to worry about money and decided to work as a painter in Granada. When he went on a trip to Paris, France he studied different other painters and fell in a deep depression. He thought that there were much advanced styles of painting and that his own work was worth nothing.

He returned to Granada and to find inspiration he worked for years on his gardens close to the Alhambra. He created different terraces and lines of sight, he integrated different artworks he bought from other places in Andalucía; he combined old and new. Rodríguez-Acosta installed big water basins and a grotto. And as a lot of caves leading through the mountain underneath his house belonged to him, he decorated and designer them, too. Just because he could. When he wanted to symbolize death in his garden, he bought the tomb of a nun from Córdoba and placed it at his home (without having any connection to her).

Today art students life at the house and can use his garden for finding inspiration. The only thing you won’t find there is one single painting of him. But the friendly guide told me that some of his works are exhibited at the Museo des Bellas Artes within the Palacio de Carlos V. at the Alhambra. I didn’t know what to expect from such a painter but out of pure curiosity I went to the museum and I wasn’t really surprised: without any exception it were simply female nudes.

Fundación Rodríguez-Acosta
Callejón Niño del Rollo, 8
18009 Granada

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