The present premises of the Club, are in Palazzo Doria Spinola, following the implementation of an intense restoration project, the results of which has been a renewal of the old splendour.
The building was commissioned by the brothers Giambattista and Andrea Spinola in 1563, and was designed and built by Bernardino Cantone from Cabio, an architect among the protagonists of the creation of the beautiful “Palazzi” of Via Garibaldi (today under the patronage of Unesco).
The main floor (the so called “piano nobile”) has a magnificent hall, enriched by precious 16th century tapestries and, on the South wall, by a large and imposing fireplace, by Valsoldo.
The ceiling is decorated with frescos by Andrea Semino. Semino, who had already painted the ceiling of a room on the ground floor with the “Histories of Perseus and Andromeda”, here wanted to represent the undertakings of the members of the Spinola’s family. In the central oval fresco he painted “The Embassy of Oberto Spinola to the Emperor Barbarossa”, while on the sides “The Wedding of Argentina, daughter of Opizzo Spinola”, “Nicolo Spinola appointed Sea’s Admiral from the same Emperor Barbarossa”, “The Help of the Fleet of Guidone Spinola to the Christian Army”, and “The Siege of the City of Acona”.
In addition Semino painted the ceiling of an adjacent room, putting at the centre “The Myth of Jove and Danae” and, at the sides of it, “Neptune and Proserpina”, “Venus and Adonis”, “Jove and Europe”, “Jove and Antiope”. In a living room near by, called “The Phaeton’s Room” it has been Luca Cambiaso the main artistic protagonist.
He painted there “The Fall of Phaeton”, “The Skinning of Martia”, “The Punishment of Arachne”, “The Fall of the Giants” and “The Fall of Icarus”.
In all these frescos he represented mythological sceneries, painted with lights and transparent colours, where the green and the pink shades prevail. All this paintings have been made around the year 1565. The Palace hosts other masterpieces as well.
In the same room, we can admire, on the walls, set in precious old golden stucco’s frames from the 18th century, “The Madeleine” by Paolo Veronese, “The Holy Crib” from the School of Bassano, “The Forge of Volcano” by Luca Giordano, “The Danaes” by Valerio Castello, “Saint Francis while praying” by unknown painter of the 18th century, “Saint Martyr” attributed to Bernardo Cavallino, “The Wedding of Jacob” attributed to Cignani, “Saint Francis” by Bernardo Strozzi and “A Mythological Story” from the School of Paolo Veronese.
In the following room we could admire other three masterworks, “The Generosity of Scipio” by the Genoese painter G. Battista Gaulli (Baciccio), “The Forge of Volcano” and “The Triumph of Ceres” both painted by G. Benedetto Castiglione, called The Grechetto.
Not everything has been however well preserved. During many centuries the Building went through serious alterations and modification, in particular on the facades. The one at the South, facing the garden, has been heavily modified with the closure of the gallery on the first floor and of the arcade on the ground floor, in order to obtain additional rooms.
The façade on Via Garibaldi, that originally was simple and linear, has been enriched with stucco’s decorations, and further modified adding a second floor in 1683. These changes has been probably decided by Ambrogio Doria, who owned the Palace after the Spinola’s family. Along the years many paintings originally situated in the various rooms, has been brought outside Italy. Among other we could remember the superb “Portrait of Polissena Spinola” by Antony Van Dyck, today exhibited at The National Gallery in Washington.