Hendrick de Keyser

Dates1565 - 1621

Hendrick de Keyser was one of the most important architects and a major sculptor in Holland at the end of the 1500s and the beginning of the 1600s. Born the son of a stonemason in Utrecht, de Keyser probably first studied with his father before being apprenticed to the architect and sculptor Cornelis Bloemaert in Dordrecht. In 1591 de Keyser moved and became a citizen of Amsterdam. His talents were soon recognized, and he was named to the influential post of city architect and sculptor. In this capacity he worked on government buildings, churches, spires, and decorative towers. In 1607 the city of Amsterdam sent him to London to view the new Royal Exchange before beginning work on the design of the Amsterdam Exchange. By at least 1599, De Keyser also worked on small-scale metal pieces. He produced many tabletop bronzes, a popular type of object that he may have introduced to the Netherlands after a trip to Italy. Among his sculptural works, de Keyser is best known for his monumental tomb for William I (the Silent) in Delft.