The last sunbeams light the recently roughcasted façade. The fine gravels grate under the steps of the last walkers. In the alleys, under the shade of secular ombus or araucarias, benches offer ultimate moments of confidences to the ones in love, before they plunge in the city's hubbub. Come to contemplate the works of art exposed inside the property or to enjoy the freshness of the park drawn by Don Manuel Ocampo (father of Victoria), the occasional visitor could not imagine that the roof of this beautiful residence was devastated 3 years earlier by a terrible fire, whereas began works of its restoration. The will, the passion of a team (*) placed under the supervision of UNESCO allowed that survive the house of the one who "dedicated her fortune, ... considerable, to the education of her country and of her continent". Borges added besides on a purely personal basis: "…I owe a great deal to Victoria, but as an Argentine, I owe her far more."
Victoria had moved definitively into this house in 1942. Prestigious names of the world of arts had crossed its threshold for a long time already. They had come there to seek the calm favourable to the inspiration. They had found there the fascination this woman exerted, become little by little their muse and their protectress.
Rabindranath Tagore wrote at the end of his life that he "did not know her language but the words spoken by her eyes will endure forever, so eloquent in their anguish.”. Hermann Keyserling acknowledged that he "(had been) enslaved by the most spiritual woman (he) had ever met.”
But the most beautiful homage was that of Borges little after the death of Victoria, in 1979: "She lived with valor and decorum, her own life... She possessed, ...the grace that heaven didn’t deign offer me".
Ramona Victoria Epifanía Rufina Ocampo, called Victoria Ocampo (1890-1979)
Villa Ocampo Project
(*) Special thanks to Neda Ferrier (Villa Ocampo project- UNESCO) to have allowed me to discover this place.