One of Genoa's finest palaces, built of white stone by the powerful Grimaldi family in the 16th century and reopened to the public in 2004 after an extensive renovation, houses the city's most notable collection of art. The paintings reflect the fine eye of the duchess of Galliera, who donated the palace and her art to the city in 1884. Her preference for painters of the northern schools, whom the affluent Genovese imported to decorate their palaces and paint their portraits, becomes strikingly obvious. Van Dyck and Rubens, both of whom came to Genoa in the early 17th century, are represented here with one painting each, as they are in the city's other major collections; one of the museum's most notable holdings is Portrait of a Lady by Lucas Cranach the Elder. The collection also includes works by other European and Italian masters (Filippino Lippi, Veronese, Palma il Giovanne, Caravaggio, Hans Memling, Jan Steen, Murillo, and Ribera), including several Genovese masters who were the catalyst for the city's flourishing art movements -- an entire room is dedicated to the works of Bernardo Strozzi, whose early-17th-century school made Genoa an important force in the baroque movement. Its small, rooftop terrace offers (for a fee) superb, 360-degree views of the city.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Highly Recommended 2010