Innsbruck, Tyrol, District of Innsbruck, Austria
Built in the 15th century, baroque redesign with stuccowork façade: c. 1730
Baroque redesign: under the direction of the stucco mason Anton Gigl (1700–1769) from the Wessobrunn school
Secular architecture (residential building)
Johann Fischer, cashier of the mint in Hall
The original builder of the residential building, whose substance essentially originates from the 15th to 16th century, is unknown. There were numerous changes of ownership during the 16th and 17th centuries until it was purchased in 1725 by Johann Fischer, cashier of the mint in Hall. Baroque redesign took place in around 1730, and the residence remained in the possession of the Fischer family until 1777. At the start of the 19th century the property was in the hands of the family Helbing (or Hölbing), who ran a cafe on the premises.
The five-storey corner building, prominently located at the junction of the upper and lower city squares, is an especially splendid example of the Baroque redesign of older Tyrolean buildings. The decorative elements of the Late Gothic townhouse, of which there are remnants, were largely replaced by the contemporary strapwork stucco which is to be found nowhere else in Innsbruck. The narrow side, framed by two corner bay widows, is the main façade and encompasses three window axes as opposed to five on the side façade.View Short Description
Essentially a typical Innsbruck townhouse of the late Middle Ages, whose magnificent Late Baroque façades were designed by the stucco mason Anton Gigl of the Wessobrunn school. The opulent vegetative and figurative ornamentation form a rich decor extending across the storeys and window axes.
Comparison of styles
Former upper city square
Anton Gigl (1700–1769)
Four storeys, each with three window axes, extend above two compact Late Gothic access arches, with the central axis symmetrically framed by two polygonal bay windows. The building is crowned by a Baroque valley roof gable with volutes and a vertical oval window in the centre. The bold stucco composed of garlands of flowers and fruit, festoons, shells and putti, linked by foliage and strapwork, establish an unusually sculptural accent, thus giving expression to the wealth and prestige of the building’s owner.
Former lower city square
Anton Gigl (1700–1769)
The side façade with its five axes and window axes at irregular intervals only has one central polygonal bay window. Horizontally it is concluded by an eaves cornice. The stucco, forming an embellishment around the window openings, has more room to unfold than on the main façade. The architectural forms of the décor, such as the window moulding, are overshadowed by the vigorous outgrowth of ornamentation.
Corner room on the third floor (living quarters)
Probably Anton Gigl (1700–1769)
The stucco ceiling, presumably also from Gigl, displays slightly different motifs and ornamentation compared to the façades. The border area is composed of intricately intertwined bands with acanthus leaves; in the centre, framed by strap and vine scroll decoration, is a star composed of bands, leaves and shells. Above the entrance to the bay window the coat of arms of the Fischer family.
Österreichische Kunsttopographie vol. 38, 1, edited by Johanna Felmayer, Vienna 1972, pp. 163–72.
Schnell, H., Schedler, U., Lexikon der Wessobrunner, Munich, Zurich 1988, p. 125.
Frank Purrmann "Helblinghaus" in "Discover Baroque Art", Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. http://www.discoverbaroqueart.org/database_item.php?id=monument;BAR;at;Mon11;7;en
Prepared by: Frank Purrmann
Translation by: Colin Shepherd
Translation copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez
Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.
True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.
MWNF Working Number: AT 07
On display in
Discover Baroque Art Exhibition(s)Travelling and Exoticism | Travelling artists and patrons and the exchange of artworks
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