The Belgian artist Max Léon Moreau lived in this typical villa of the Albayzín for more than thirty years. He left all his properties to Granada City Council when he died in 1992. This villa was restored in 1998 to open a House Museum.
A Carmen is a typical villa from Granada made up of a large house with courtyards and usually a garden and an orchard. These houses are common in Sacromonte and Realejo hills. In this case, Max Moreau’s Carmen is composed by a house, an orchard and a garden. In order to adapt to the slope, this villa was built on three terraces. There are three independent buildings in this Carmen but all of them are connected by courtyards. These buildings are the artist’s house, his studio and the housekeeper’s house. Nowadays, Max Moreau’s house hosts the permanent exhibition about his works, while his studio, the most restored part of the Carmen, is the hall dedicated to the recreation of his life.
Max Léon Moreau was born in Soignies, a small city in Belgium. He left his birthplace at the age of three when his parents moved to Brussels. He looked up to his father, who was also a painter. Max used to watch him while he was painting, and that was how he unconsciously and spontaneously learned this art. Eastern cultures influenced the new phase of his life. Moreau decided to travel several times to Africa because of the picturesque landscapes he saw on his colleagues’ pictures and paintings, its pictorial potential and its spellbinding exoticism.
He lived in North America, Vichy (France) and Portugal. Finally, after 15 years living in Paris and many trips abroad, Moreau’s family settled in Granada. He said about this city: “Granada has not let us down over the ten years we have been living here. I believe I made myself known and respected.”
He passed away on the 7th of September 1992, after battling with a long illness for many years. People who knew him describe the artist as a good affable and loving man. He was full of jokes and very friendly.
The Carmen develops on three levels, called terraces. This house also has a fig tree, several rose bushes, plenty of geraniums and a small pond where flowers reflect.
The visit begins on the building on the left, which has been restored to host exhibitions (Max Moreau’s Exhibition Hall) where the artist’s work is usually displayed. This hall also hosts the works of other guest artists as a part of the cultural program called Espacios de Arte (Art Spaces).
Moreau’s personal library is located in the second building, on the right. In this intimate and humble space are the books Moreau used to read. Visitors can also find some of Moreau’s literary works such as the ballet El lobo y el cordero (The wolf and the lamb), the poems anthology El boticatio lírico (The lyric chemist) and the tragicomedy Tutus.
The ground floor is a journey across Max Moreau’s biography. The purpose of this part of the visit is to know more about his studies, trips, family and acquaintances throughout photographic information.
Carmen de los Geranios (Moreau’s Carmen name) was restored by the City Council of Granada to open a Museum dedicated to Max Moreau in the 29th of October 1998.