The Golden Gallery

The Galleria Aurea (“Golden Gallery”)

The Galleria Aurea, built by Giovanni Andrea I Doria, is of particular interest because it shows how this type of room became fashionable in northern Italy at the time as a place suitable “only for gentlemen, and prominent individuals”. It was oblong in shape and had many windows on both sides with a view over the Villa’s gardens. At the end of the sixteenth century, it replaced the Hall of Giants as the reception area for formal events at the Villa. The building contract reveals how the master builders Battista Cantone and Luca Carlone created “a Gallery with an adjacent Chapel to the Fassolo Palace on the western side” and that the deadline for the work was July 1595. Later, a well-known artist from Urbino, Marcello Sparzo, decorated the vault with scenes, lunettes and large corbels. There are twelve figures dressed as ancient warriors who represent illustrious members of the family, like those in the Hall of Heroes; one of these figures is Andrea Doria, crushing the head of a defeated Turk under his foot. Initially the gallery was called Galleria Aurea because of the extensive gilding. It houses seventeenth-century wall-mounted tables by the famous Genoese sculptor Filippo Parodi.

Base di un tavolo con Tritoni

The adjacent chapel has an exquisite painting by Giovanni Battista Gaulli, also known as Baciccio, a prominent Baroque artist of Genoese origin who found fame in Rome. It portrays Saint Julian receiving the palm of martyrdom and was completed between 1705 and 1706.