Gaucho painter Florencio Molina Campos

Gaucho painter Florencio Molina Campos

Florencio Molina Campos, the gaucho painter:

“I try to look in the distant years of my boyhood to find the first feeling of what was eventually to become, with music and reading, the passion of my life: painting.” Florencio Molina Campos.


Gaucho image in the Subway of Buenos Aires

Gaucho image in the Subway of Buenos Aires


On October 3rd, 1891, in the Buenos Aires parish of San Nicolás, Eduardo O´Gorman – brother of the famous Camila – baptized with the name Florencio de los Angeles the man that we know today as Florencio Molina Campos.

He was the son of Florencio Molina Salas and Josefina del Corazón de Jesús Campos y Campos.


gaucho painter areco

The gaucho painter Florencio Molina Campos


School vacations – he attended the Colegio La Salle, Colegio El Salvador, and Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires – were spent at his father´s family Estancia , “Los Angeles”, in El Tuyú, and later at “La Matilda”, an Estancia leased by his family in Chajarí, in the Province of Entre Ríos.


From an early age he drew landscapes, country people, and the scenes of country life that he had observed and recorded during his school vacations.


gaucho bar estancia

Calendar of Molina Campos


After his father’s death, in 1907, he had to take jobs at the Post Office, the Sociedad Rural Argentina, and the Department of Public Works. His efforts to achieve independence first as a cattle dealer and later on a farm in the Chaco were doomed to failure.


In 1926, at the age of thirty-five and encouraged by a friend, he exhibited a number of drawings and paintings at the annual exposition in the Central Hall of the Sociedad Rural.

President Alvear visited the show and bought two of Molina Carnpos’ works. The rest of his pictures were quickly sold out and he became the popular gaucho painter in Argentina.


Molina Campos in his Studio

Molina Campos in his Studio


The next year, he exhibited in the old Rambla in Mar del Plata, where he met María Elvira Ponce Aguirre, who later became his second wife.


From 1931 to 1944 he produced calendar illustrations for the Fábrica Argentina de Alpargatas, and these are now considered his best and most important painting.


Molina Campos and Walt Disney

Molina Campos and Walt Disney


Walt Disney, an admirer of Molina Campos´ work, hired him as and adviser on several films, but the results did not satisfy the artist, who saw that the image of the Argentine gaucho was being debased.


His illustrations for Estanislao del Campo’s Fausto, published by Kraft, are unforgettable.
From 1944 to 1958 the gaucho painter illustrated calendars for the Minneapolis-Moline farm machinery manufacturer.
These calendars became famous throughout the United States, where he lived for many years.


gaucho estancia calendar

Famous gaucho calendar


Florencio Molina Campos, born in Buenos Aires on the twenty-first of August 1891, died in the city of his birth on the sixteenth of November 1959.


Based in Juan Carlos Ocampo´s book.


Pintores y Artistas de San Antonio de Areco aquí en: Areco chat

You can visit this and some other gauchos museums, galleries and culture attractions in this Tour: Cultural & Arts Legacy of the Gauchos Day Tour

Estancia Las Lilas

Estancia Las Lilas

Cabañas and Estancia Las Lilas is a family business dedicated to agricultural activity, starting its second century of existence.


Las Lilas Museum

Las Lilas Museum


The Foundation

The Las Lilas Foundation is focusing on the artistic expressions that, in the present and in the past, Argentine people have externalized, whether they were original from our ancient cultures, indigenous, or as more recently, European settlers.


This is the part of our history that interests us, because we firmly believe that people are better when they know their history, their origins, their identity.


It is no coincidence that this museum, owned by the Estancia Las Lilas Foundation, was erected in San Antonio de Areco, paradigmatic place of country culture, birthplace of the gaucho tradition.


Estancia las lilas

Patio of Las Lilas Museum


Museum and Estancia Las Lilas collection

The permanent exhibition is a tribute of the Florencio Molina Campos Foundation, the most recognized and admired painter of the Argentina popular culture.



Don Florencio deeply understood the spirit and values of the man from the pampa. As subtle observer and brilliant caricaturist, he tells us with wit and humor about the life of the gauchos.



The famous calendars, Don Florencio made on behalf of the factory Alpargatas Argentina between 1930´s and 1950´s, that you can find in the remotest corners of the country.


pulperia san antonio de areco Estancia Las Lilas

Museum Las Lilas collection


The majority of the paintings on display belonged to the Alpargatas Collection, and are the works that resulted in the almanacs exhibited in Estancia Las Lilas Museum.

His paintings are disputed by collectors from Argentina and abroad, in addition to museums and galleries.


Due to the deep knowledge that Don Florencio had of the Argentina countryside, his paintings have been and are subject of consultation and study.

Many of the traditions of our Estancias near Buenos Aires and countryside have been lost by the inexorable advance of modernity in all its edges; as a result, new generations have grown up with some other expectations and other interests.


Molina Campos memorabilia

Molina Campos memorabilia


Behind the creation of this museum, there is also a pedagogical intention, which welcomes those who have an interest in our topic and tradition.


Focus of the Museum

This museum will be always oriented to the dissemination of our culture and open to other expressions that reflect and talk about the history of the interior of Argentina. Like the most important gaucho museum Ricardo Güiraldes in San Antonio de Areco



Octavio A. Caraballo
Presidente Fundación Las Lilas
(extracted from the Museo Las Lilas catalog)


You can visit this museum and estancia las lilas and some other gauchos museums, galleries and culture attractions in this Tour: Cultural & Arts Legacy of the Gauchos Day Tour


Also: You can check more than 400 5 stars reviews in Tripadvisor here: Tripadvisor reviews for Buenos Aires Gaucho Tour: “Camino Pampa”


Shuttle tickets to the most important Gaucho Town in Argentina: Arecobus

San Antonio de Areco alfajores

San Antonio de Areco alfajores

San Antonio de Areco alfajores : 37 years ago, the teachers Carlos Gabba and Teresa decided to produce alfajores to be sold to the few tourists who came to San Antonio de Areco.

“They visited the Güiraldes Museum, Dragui silversmiths, maybe an Estancia and then had nothing to take as a souvenir after their tour: they think about an alfajor with a bath of dark chocolate that should be really rich, with real cocoa,” Carlos says. He currently goes to the factory of La Olla de Cobre, where currently the San Antonio de Areco alfajores are produced, only to monitor, he recently delegated all the operations to his son Agustín.

History of the San Antonio de Areco alfajores:

At the beginning they cooked the San Antonio de Areco alfajores in their house and then took their production to the small handicraft factory, while continuing teaching in schools. There was a time when the buses start stopping by their shop and the tourists buying hot chocolate and alfajores and then continued with a guided tour in Areco.

These alfajores from La Olla de Cobre are unforgettable. Great alfajor chocolate areco of 55 grams, with two round cookies made of traditional flour, butter, sugar and egg, that were stuffed with a good layer of old-fashioned dulce de leche and then finally covered with delicious dark chocolate.


Best San Antonio de Areco alfajores

Best San Antonio de Areco alfajores


Some small machines perform the melting, refining, “concado”, deodorizing and tempering of the chocolate, the central product of La Olla de Cobre, which also sells chocolates figures and Easter eggs.

The process starts from the nibs or cocoa liquor (cocoa bean bits already processed, peeled, crushed and toasted imported from Ecuador and Brazil). The Concado is the process of churning chocolate that gives the termination; the more Concado the more refined and delicate will be the chocolate.

“There is a particle size measuring texture, if you have more than x amount of microns you will feel in the mouth and probably will be rough. When you finish refining and concado these crystallites are broken down to a point where your will not feel in the mouth” concludes the master chocolatier.


Founders of the Chocolate Factory

Founders of the Chocolate Factory


As if he were a concentrated child watching animated cartoons. So Carlos Gabba sees passing alfajor chocolate areco on the production tape. He looks at them with the surprise of the one who sees the assembly process for the first time: first the tapas, a sleeve that deposits a very high flake of thick dulce de leche, then a shower of chocolate. Carlos follows the process with his eyes, as if remembering the beginnings of his dream: La Olla de Cobre, a family factory of exquisite alfajores and chocolates.

How they started the alfajores business

For 16 years, Carlos distributed sweets in the neighboring towns of San Antonio de Areco. That activity related him to the chocolate and alfajores industry. At the end of the seventies, Carlos and Teresa began to notice that San Antonio de Areco began to arrive tourists and that they had nothing special – except silverware – to take as a gift.

“The town was much smaller than it is now. Areco did not have a good arrival at the river. You could reach the boulevard, which at that time was dirt, but the waterfront was all trellised and with tapestries. People, to get to the river, had to cross the old bridge. After a lot of work between neighbors and tourism commissions, we managed to recover that space, ”recalls Carlos, who actively participated in the tasks.


Alfajores and chocolate in San Antonio de Areco

Alfajores and chocolate in San Antonio de Areco


They planted trees, placed the pergolas, benches, cut the grass, cleaned the waterfront, removed the bars and thus made the neighbors of Areco and tourists know the river and use it to go to take mates. “At the beginning there was a lot of social tourism, retired to spend evenings in the town. It was when we decided with Teresa, my wife, that our venture was related to tourism. Do something that could be taken from Areco. We immediately think of alfajores, because alfajor is a tourism classic. You go to the coast or to the south and there are alfajores, ”says Carlos.

Perfect recipe of the San Antonio de Areco alfajores

Carlos and Teresa began to bond with people specialized in the manufacture of alfajores. They, before starting, knew that they wanted to make the best alfajor that was within their reach, regardless of the price: they wanted it to be exquisite. A quality product For that they hired men and women who were already soaked in the chocolate trade. They were in every detail to “design” the best of their dreams. The first thing they noticed was that the chocolate used was of poor quality. Then they got into the world of chocolate to achieve the best possible bath.

Before making the alfajor chocolate areco that is sold today, they made hundreds of tests to achieve the exact flavor. “At the beginning we didn’t have the machine to bathe them, so we put sugar in it. We evolved until we managed to have the machines and then did not have many variants. The cookies, the Ecuadorian chocolate and the dulce de leche are still the same back then, ”says Carlos, who proudly defines himself as a chocolate maker.


If you would like to take this Full Day tour Estancia near Buenos Aires with San Antonio de Areco Gaucho town visit.


Alfajores shop in San Antonio de Areco

Alfajores shop in San Antonio de Areco


When they started, they only had a stained glass window; Little by little they began to grow and fast. The Copper Pot became an attraction and tourist groups stopped at the door of the business to take a bag of alfajores. The business did not stop growing and today La Olla de Cobre is a classic in San Antonio de Areco. Even the arequeros who live far away, always ask their relatives to send them, in addition to the grass, a box of alfajores, as a plea filled with nostalgia: a precious gift for those who live hundreds of thousands of kilometers from the local Matheu street.

Alfajores are manufactured every 15 days in La Olla de Cobre. That day Carlos takes the opportunity to eat one. Still enjoying them like that first time, forty years ago. In the place they still keep the copper pot where they made the first tests. “We always work for people and perceive whether they like it or not. We know that our customers live an hour and a half, in Buenos Aires, and they always buy us again, ”he says.


Family business

For 8 years, Carlos began to delegate the work to his son Agustín: he swears that he is a better chocolate maker than him and that he improved the processes. Carolina, his daughter, has an Olla de Cobre shop in Merlo, San Luis. The elder is a lawyer and is also an excellent chocolatier: every time the work exceeds them, they call him to give him one hand.

In La Olla de Cobre there is always a alfajor chocolate areco smell: an exquisite aroma that transports us to the world of chocolate fantasy. However, Carlos has it so incorporated that he no longer feels it. That bothers him, because he doesn’t know how the aroma is, something he considers fundamental. When he leaves a few days and returns to his place, he takes the opportunity to take a deep breath in the fragrance of his dream.

Carlos keeps the happiness of working. And it maintains a philosophy of life and work that does not negotiate: “They have offered me everything. They have made me offers of all colors to grow, to put franchises in any country


Review of the San Antonio de Areco alfajores

Go there because several Argentine friends always mentioned and I saw many postings. I am not a fan of chocolates so have to recognize that tried them and bought some for a gift but not that enthusiastic. I went for the alfajores… They were absolutely delicious. First I only bought one because I had already bought the chocolates…went out of the store and ate the alfajor, it was so yummy that I had to go back and buy more, the flavour of a fresh alfajor is so delicious!! Do try if you are around



There is more information about the Alfajores chocolate Areco in Spanish: Gaucho experience

All about the gaucho traditional town near Buenos Aires: San Antonio de Areco

Experience the countryside with the gauchos: day in the Estancia

You can check more than 500 5 stars reviews in Tripadvisor here: Reviews for Buenos Aires Gaucho Tour

The Argentina Gaucho origins

The Argentina Gaucho origins

The Argentina gauchos was the nomadic horseman of the Pampas, of mixed ancestry origins, he led a free and independent life and has been looked at in fascination by all those who met him.


All travellers agree that he was the embodiment of freedom. “They abhor discipline and are distinguished by a naughty and independent dignity.” (Hinchliff)



Argentina Gauchos in the Pampas

Argentina Gauchos in the Pampas


He was, in the mid eighteenth century, a lazy and often belligerent vagrant, accustomed to slaughter cattle when hungry, to work when in need of a shirt, and who had neither home nor family.


“Whether it be cold or hot, the itinerant peon reposes soundly under the open canopy of heaven, having the earth as his bed, his poncho as his covering, and his saddle for his pillow.”

(Gillespie – Gleanings and Remaks, Leeds 1818)


Life of gaucho in the Pampas

Life of gaucho in the Pampas



When the colonies started trading in hides and tallow, the Argentina gauchos was needed at the vaquerías (the first organized farms), because he was skilfull in all rural activities.

He was the adequate person, who, armed with his knife, his lasso and his boleadoras, hunted the large herds.

He had to assemble the cattle and drive them to market, break in the colts, kill the cattle for hide, tallow and charqui (jerked meat).


The hides had to be stretched and dried and charqui had to be cut in long pieces, dipped in salt and water and dried in the air.


The Argentina gauchos, this strong, loyal, proud creature, was now learning to build his hut and settle down. Early in the nineteenth century the Gauchos were forced to join the army to fight the wars of independence.


Famous Argentina Gauchos Don Segundo Ramirez

Famous Argentina Gauchos Don Segundo Ramirez


“Whether it be cold or hot, the itinerant peon reposes soundly under the open canopy of heaven, having the earth as his bed, his poncho as his covering, and his saddle for his pillow.”

(Gillespie – Gleanings and Remaks, Leeds 1818)


“The character of the Gaucho is often very estimable; he is always hospitable, at his hut the traveller is sure to find a friendly welcome, and he will often be received with a natural dignity of manner which is very remarkable.”

(Francis Bond Head – Rough Notes, London 1828)


Argentina Gauchos according to author Hinchliff:

“Most of them do a hard day´s work very steadily without food till the evening announces the time of their rest; they loll or sit lazily about the fire where their beef is cooking, while the inevitable cigarette ornaments their sunburnt faces; and if I may judge by my own experience, I should say they pass their evening remarkably quietly in their own quartier of the Estancia; where they peaceably gorge themselves with beef and mate.”


Today the Pampa has been fenced, the fear of the malón (attacks by the Indians) has disappeared and the Gaucho has become the peon, the rural labourer.

(Mónica Gloria Hoss de le Comte)


How to explore the current life of the gauchos:

For booking the most Real gauchos Tour Buenos Aires Areco Estancia: Estancia Tour in Buenos Aires

For more information about gauchos culture and heritage: The gaucho experience

Full day tour Buenos Aires Estancia El Ombu de Areco with transfer