marie-louise ferrari


marie-louise ferrari
Photo by Dominique Landau

It is thanks to the arrival in Xalapa of a French artist, Marie-Louise Ferrari, that the presence of the French nation was reaffirmed in 1960. Certainly, the connections with France were always very important - the only books of the former Law Faculty and also of the Medical Faculty were at the time in French - but it was with the opening of the Alliance Française that the inhabitants of Xalapa rediscovered the importance of French culture. During more than twenty years, Marie-Louise Ferrari spent the majority of her time teaching French, to such an extent that even today, in Xalapa, few are unaware of the woman affectionately known as La Madame.

But Marie-Louise Ferrari was also an artist whose talent received awards from the end of the Second World War on at the Salon des Indépendants. Up to her death on November 22, 1990, she was exhibiting increasingly both in Mexico and in Europe. Marie-Louise Ferrari was always loyal to French culture, to a country which she defended during the Second World War, in the Résistance at the side of Jacques Soustelle. It is for these services that she was awarded the Order of Merit by the French government. Finally, Marie-Louise Ferrari was also a most modest and discreet patron. During her life, quietly, she never ceased to encourage creators, welcoming them, offering them a place to work.

This place was - and still is - a marvelous colonial residence discovered in 1970. Situated in the heart of Xalapa, in Alfaro Street, a few steps from the Governor’s Palace and the cathedral, it is a classified historical monument of 1800 square metres, of which 600 were constructed more than two hundred years ago. The numerous canvases by masters which adorn its walls bear witness to its permanent contacts with the artistic milieu, and the library to its didactic work: more than two thousand titles are shelved there, drawn as much from the artistic domain as from the literary. As for the garden, it is the enchanting proof of her love for nature, and in which she strove to grow the species most representative of tropical vegetation, from orchids to dahlias via tree-ferns

Homage must be paid to her heirs since, after her death, they took the decision to conserve this heritage. The colonial residence of Marie-Louise Ferrari should live, and live as its owner had lived: by and for creativity. Thus germinated, slowly but with the vigor proper to the best of seedlings, the idea of turning it into a cultural residence, a place of creativity open to intellectuals and artists of the whole world.


November 22, 1995 : a gallery was inaugurated in part of the residence. In homage to the woman who inspired it, it was given her name. Friends and relatives experienced a moment of intense emotion on seeing once again, hanging on the walls of her own space, canvases which they knew but had not seen in a long time.

The aims of the Galerie Marie-Louise Ferrari are simple:

  • to conserve, augment and present to the public the work and the artistic and cultural heritage accumulated by Marie-Louise Ferrari

  • to open an independent space for the expression of young talents

  • to reinforce cultural exchanges between Mexico and other countries, France in particular.

It is thus an ambitious project since it claims to prolong the life and work of an artist-patron, and not just to remember. Creative imagination, talent and originality, these are the sole criteria at the moment of selecting invited artists. Since the Gallery Marie-Louise Ferrari fisrt opening show, more than fifty exhibitions has been organized, showing works from evrywhere around the world.


marie-louise ferrari

cantique by marie-louise ferrari


forêt morte by marie-louise ferrari
Cantique (drawing) Forêt morte (pastel on amate)


Concepción y realización : Frater Consultant para los socios de RTX