KEYSER, Hendrick de
(b. 1565, Utrecht, d. 1621, Amsterdam)


The outstanding Dutch sculptor and one of the leading Dutch architects of his period. Most of his career was spent in Amsterdam, where he was appointed municipal sculptor and architect in 1594. His most important buildings are the Zuiderkerk (South Church, 1606-14), Holland's first large Protestant Church, and the Westerkerk (West Church, 1620-38), which broke free from the Mannerist tradition, looking forward to the classicism of Jacob van Campen. The splendid towers of these two churches are still among Amsterdam's chief landmarks. As a sculptor, de Keyser excelled particularly as a portraitist in a soberly realistic style (Unknown Man, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1608), but his best-known work is the tomb of William the Silent (begun 1614) in the Niewe Kerk at Delft.

His son and pupil, Thomas de Keyser (1596/7-1667), was municipal architect to the City of Amsterdam from 1662 until his death (he added the cupola to van Campen's Town Hall), but he is better known as a portrait painter. Two other sons of Hendrick, Pieter (1595-1676) and Willem (1603-after 1678), were sculptors. Willem worked for some years in England, probably with Nicholas Stone, Hendrick's son-in-law and former pupil.