The Palace was built in 1540 but the current aspect is mostly due to the 17th-century Baroque style interventions made by Francesco Borromini for the will of the new owner, the Cardinal Bernardino Spada.
In this sumptuous location, in 1927 the Spada Gallery was opened to the public for the first time, and it illustrates in four halls the cardinal's collection with paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
In the first room there are two beautiful portraits of Cardinal Bernardino Spada made respectively by Guido Reni and Guercino, where we can notice the different aspect that the two artists gave to the illustrious figure; we also find the Portrait of Cardinal Fabrizio Spada by Sebastiano Ceccarini, two still lifes by Onofrio Loth, four views of Hendrik Van Lint and four Battles by Jacques Courtois.
In the second room created on the project of Bernini stands the Way to the Calvary by Marco Palmezzano, the Portrait of a botanist by Bartolomeo Passerotti, the Portrait of a violinist by Tiziano, the Visitation by Andrea del Sarto and many others.
Also the third room was designed by Bernini and its decoration is due to Michelangelo Ricciolini, while among the works housed here there are the Landscape with the boar's hunting by Nicolò dell'Abate, the Landscape with windmills by Jan Brughel the Elder and The Death of Didone by Guercino, just to name a few...
The last room is a tribute to the cardinal's love for the Caravaggio's style painting and therefore we find works like David with the head of Goliath by Orazio Gentileschi, the Virgin who nurses the Child and Saint Cecilia by Artemisia Gentileschi, the Masaniello rebellion by Michelangelo Cerquozzi, eight canvases of the Dutchman Pieter Van Laer called Bamboccio, two by Mattia Preti and many other famous names personally known or not by the Cardinal, thanks to which we can still admire this splendid example of ancient gallery where paintings blend perfectly with the environment and furnishings.