17th Century

The 17th century; the second half of the previous century and the first of the 17th century are known as "El siglo de los Genoveses", the great period of economic domination in which the city’s leading citizens were the richest in Europe, thanks to the intense and successful activity in finance. This wealth was, in part, invested in property: starting from the mid-16th century the splendid buildings of Strada Nuova, now Via Garibaldi, were constructed and great local artists (such as Fiasella, Domenico Piola and his son Valerio, all of whom are present in the Museum) and foreign ones (Rubens, Van Dyck - not present here - and later Puget, among many) were active working for the leading families with paintings and frescoes. Meanwhile, in terms of sculpture, both churches ("sumptuous response to the stimuli of the Counter-Reformation ”, Writes Prof. G. Doria) and palaces were enriched with precious works, including the presence of Puget, who brings the astonishing novelties of Roman Baroque to the city, as demonstrated by his sculptures which are exhibited here. It is an intense artistic period that produces works of the immense value and the highest quality in the embellishments of the noble residences, including silverware and tapestries. Worthy of note are the frescoes recovered from the private chapel of the former Branca Doria palace, a great juvenile work by Valerio Castello (around 1650), recently masterfully restored, an artist whose only failing was dying young. Finally, note the numerous examples of the Madonna recovered from shrines scattered throughout the historic center, an indication of a deeply rooted Marian cult in the city which, in 1637, declared her Queen of Genoa.