Hendrick de Keyser

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Engraving of Hendrick de Keyser from Het Gulden Cabinet Hendrick de Keyser - gulden cabinet.png
Engraving of Hendrick de Keyser from Het Gulden Cabinet

Hendrick de Keyser (15 May 1565 – 15 May 1621) was a Dutch sculptor and architect born in Utrecht, Netherlands, who was instrumental in establishing a late Renaissance form of Mannerism in Amsterdam. He was the father of Thomas de Keyser who was an architect and portrait painter.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Mannerism style of European art

Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Baroque style largely replaced it. Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century.

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands and municipality

Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 854,047 within the city proper, 1,357,675 in the urban area and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The Amsterdam metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, which has a population of approximately 8.1 million.


Biography and works

As a young man the Utrecht-born artist Hendrick de Keyser was apprenticed to master Cornelis Bloemaert the elder. At the age of 26 he followed Bloemaert to Amsterdam. Soon he set to work as an independent artist. When his talent became generally appreciated he was appointed city stonemason and sculptor. In fact his duties included all of the tasks now associated with the job of city architect. De Keyser is famous for a number of important buildings which belong to the core of Dutch historic sites. Today the Zuiderkerk (1603-1611) and accompanying tower (1614), the Delft Town Hall (1618-1620), the Westerkerk (1620-1631) and Westertoren (built in 1638 but in a modified version) are among the historic buildings which provide important insights into De Keyser’s work. His Commodity Exchange of 1608-1613 was pulled down in the 19th century.

Westerkerk church in Amsterdam

The Westerkerk is a Reformed church within Dutch Protestant church in central Amsterdam, Netherlands. It lies in the most western part of the Grachtengordel neighborhood, next to the Jordaan, between the Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht.

Hendrick de Keyser's projects in Amsterdam during the early decades of the 17th century helped establish a late Mannerist style referred to as "Amsterdam Renaissance". The Amsterdam Renaissance style deviates in many respects from sixteenth-century Italian Renaissance architecture. Classical elements such as pilasters, cornices and frontons were used on a large scale, but mainly as decorative elements. De Keyser never slavishly followed the tenets of classical architecture as laid down in the Italian treatises. His version came to full bloom at the end of the second decade of the 17th century, and set the stage for the later Dutch classical phase of Jacob van Campen and Pieter Post. The East India House in Amsterdam was most likely also designed by him.

Dutch Baroque architecture architecture of the Baroque era in the Dutch Republic and its colonies

Dutch Baroque architecture is a variety of Baroque architecture that flourished in the Dutch Republic and its colonies during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century - Dutch painting during the period is covered by Dutch Golden Age painting.

Jacob van Campen painter and architect from the Northern Netherlands

Jacob van Campen, was a Dutch artist and architect of the Golden Age.

Pieter Post painter and architect from the Northern Netherlands

Pieter Jansz Post was a Dutch Golden Age architect, painter and printmaker.

Apart from pursuing a career as an architect, De Keyser remained active as a sculptor. He designed the tomb of William the Silent for the Nieuwe Kerk at Delft (1614-1623). However, De Keyser did not live to see the finished product. He died in Amsterdam, and his son Pieter completed the project.

William the Silent founder of the Dutch Republic, stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht, leader of the Dutch Revolt

William I, Prince of Orange, also known as William the Silent or William the Taciturn, or more commonly known as William of Orange, was the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs that set off the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1581. He was born in the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. He became Prince of Orange in 1544 and is thereby the founder of the branch House of Orange-Nassau and the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands. Within the Netherlands he is also known as Father of the Fatherland.

Delft City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam, to the southeast, and The Hague, to the northwest. Together with them, it is part of both Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area and the Randstad.

In 1631, ten years after De Keyser’s death, Cornelis Danckertsz included the architect’s most important sketches in his book ’Architectura Moderna’.

De Keyser's career was not limited to Amsterdam, and his international contacts helped him to keep in touch with the mainstream of European architecture. The Amsterdam city administrators sent him to England where he worked with Inigo Jones (1573-1652). Jones was the first English architect who went to Italy to learn all he could about classical architecture. He studied the famous treatises written by the Roman architect Vitruvius (circa 30 BC), and his intimate knowledge of the work of Palladio (1518-1580) gave him the nickname the English Palladio. The Banqueting House in London, designed for the Stuart monarchs, became the prototype of classical architecture in England. When De Keyser returned to Amsterdam one of Jones’ assistants, Nicholas Stone, joined him. Stone worked with De Keyser in Amsterdam from 1607 to 1613 and even became his son-in-law. De Keyser attention to England and English architecture reflect Amsterdam's position as a commercial centre in Europe.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Inigo Jones 16th/17th-century English architect

Inigo Jones was the first significant English architect in the early modern period, and the first to employ Vitruvian rules of proportion and symmetry in his buildings. As the most notable architect in England, Jones was the first person to introduce the classical architecture of Rome and the Italian Renaissance to Britain. He left his mark on London by his design of single buildings, such as the Queen's House which is the first building in England designed in a pure classical style, and the Banqueting House, Whitehall, as well as the layout for Covent Garden square which became a model for future developments in the West End. He made major contributions to stage design by his work as theatrical designer for several dozen masques, most by royal command and many in collaboration with Ben Jonson.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.

List of works

Heiligeweg Street in Amsterdam

The Heiligeweg is the street in Amsterdam that used to lead from the Kapel ter Heilige Stede to the Kalverstraat. Increasing numbers of pilgrims to this shrine made necessary a new street leading from Sloten to the shrine, and this new street became known as the Holy Way.

The Montelbaanstoren is a tower on bank of the canal Oudeschans in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The original tower was built in 1516 as part of the Walls of Amsterdam for the purpose of defending the city and the harbour. The top half, designed by Hendrick de Keyser, was extended to its current, decorative form in 1606. Since then the tower is 48m high.

City Hall (Delft) seat of government in Delft, Netherlands

The City Hall in Delft is a Renaissance style building on the Markt across from the Nieuwe Kerk. It is the seat of the city's government as well as a popular venue for civic wedding ceremonies. Most administrative functions have been transferred to an office inside the Delft railway station building. Originally designed by the Dutch architect Hendrick de Keyser, it was heavily changed over the centuries and was restored in the 20th century to its Renaissance appearance.

Works attributed to Hendrick de Keyser:

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