Sunday, October 15, 2017


1548/50 for Cardinal Girolamo Capodiferro maybe by Giulio Merisi (1508/87) and Girolamo da Carpi (1501/56), most likely by Bartolomeo Baronino (1511/54)
FAƇADE decorated in stucco with eight statues of Roman characters (Trajan, Pompey, Fabius Maximus, Romulus, Numa, Claudio Marcello, Caesar and Augustus), and in the courtyard “Centaurs”, “Hunting fairs” and “Legendary divine couples” (Hercules and Omphale, Venus and Mars, Jupiter and Juno, Pluto and Proserpina, Amphitrite and Neptune, Minerva and Mercury) 1556/60 by Giulio Mazzoni (about 1525/after 1589)
“In parallel to the fashionable painted houses makes its way an architectural trend seen in Palazzo Spada or Villa Medici that will be assiduously attended throughout the course of 1500s and even later, whose unequivocal archetype is the Palazzo Branconio dell'Aquila designed by Raphael. Here the parallels with the makeshift theater sceneries leap clear to the eyes, highlighted by common ornamental vocabulary, full of classical references and full of busts, niches, plaques, medals, trophies, garlands, grotesques” (Antonio Pinelli)
It was bought in 1632 by Cardinal Bernardino Spada
Modified 1636/37 by Paolo Marucelli (1594/1649) and Vincenzo Della Greca (1592/1661)
Modified again in the years 1652/53 by Francesco Borromini (1599/1667) who added the incredible PERSPECTIVE GALLERY of 8.82 m (29 feet) that appears to be 35 m (115 feet) designed by the Augustinian father Giovanni Maria da Bitonto
“The idea seems to be derived from the theater (Teatro Olimpico) and we must not forget that it also has a respectable Renaissance ancestry. Bramante applied the same illusion principle to the choir of S. Maria presso S. Satiro in Milan, which must have been one of the first impressions of Borromini. The colonnade concept of Palazzo Spada is therefore not typically Baroque, or has an interest rather marginal in the work of Borromini. To overestimate its significance, as it often happens to those who consider Baroque as a style especially interested in optical illusion, is completely misleading” (Rudolf Wittkower)
In 1927 the Spada family sold it to the Italian government and it became the seat of the CONSIGLIO DI STATO (Council of State). On the same year the four rooms with the art gallery were opened to the public
Corridor of Bas-reliefs, Corridor of Stuccos and Hall of the General Audiences where there is the so-called “Statue of Pompey” found in about 1553 in Via dei Leutari and mistakenly believed the one before which Julius Caesar died

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