Located in an exquisite palazzo built in the mid-sixteenth century, the Galleria Spada houses a small collection of art from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The most fascinating part of the mansion is the forced perspective gallery by Borromini.
The collection, largely assembled by Cardinal Bernardino Spada, is made up of different pieces of art from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The Spada family was deeply interested in collecting and promoting the art of the period.
One of the gallery’s main attractions is found in the courtyard. The Italian artist Francesco Borromini created the forced perspective gallery, a gallery measuring 9 metres long. However, thanks to an architectural trick, it creates a visual optical illusion of a 40 metre gallery. As the walls of the room narrow, the floor rises and the height decreases so that the small sculpture which is placed at the end of the gallery seems larger.
The collection is divided into four halls, as they would be during the seventeenth century, with the small paintings hung on the top floor and the larger pictures placed on the ground floor. It gives the impression that the paintings are hung in a strange order.
For a second visit to Rome
Although Borromini’s forced perspective gallery is rather impressive, especially for the period, we recommend visiting other museums before Galleria Spada. This could be a good option for a second visit to Rome.
Tuesday – Sunday: 8:30 am – 7:30 pm
Adults: € 5 (US$ 6.10)
EU Citizens (ages 18 – 25): € 2 (US$ 2.40)
EU Citizens: Youth (less than 18) and Seniors (over 65): free entrance
Buses: 46, 56, 62, 64, 70, 81, 87, 492 and 628.