I have never been sure about Borromini's forced perspective gallery at the Palazzo Spada. Among all the brilliant and elegant works of renowned architecture Borromini created, this silly columned gallery, where a trick of perspective makes a hallway look large and long, with a full sized statue at the end, when really its all short and stunted, always seemed too much of nonsense for me to get excited about. It's all just a trick like they had in the haunted shack at Knotts Berry Farm when I was a kid, a place where water ran uphill, and a person got bigger or smaller depending on what side of a room they were on. So I never really considered going to Palazzo Spada.
Then, 30 days into this trip it occurred to me:
1. I liked the haunted shack at Knotts Berry Farm!
2. Borromini, bad tempered and cranky and suicidal does not have a charming reputation. And yet, he made things holy, he made things effortlessly lovely, and he made things whimsical. Whimsical! I do not think the full story has been adequately reported on this guy. I mean, he made a trick hallway! How could I not honor Borromini and his whimsical trick hallway?
3. I have been going on some about Rome as an amusement park. And here it is practically explicit.
So we popped over for a look.
It was fun. The Palazzo was beautiful too, full of elegant touches, playfulness, and elegant little gardens. It was easy to travel back in time there 400 years. And I learned for sure that on a good day, at least, Borromini would have been a delight.