Danckerts de Rij

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Dutch family of architects and artists. Cornelis Danckerts (1536–95) was the city mason of Amsterdam. His son, Cornelis Danckerts de Rij I (b Amsterdam 1561; d 1634) possibly received from him his early training in the building trade. Judging from the addition of ‘de Rij’ (surveyor or clerk of works) to his name, he must have been a well-respected land surveyor or building inspector, and on his father's death he succeeded to his post. The Municipal Works Department at that time consisted of Hendrick de Keyser I (City Architect), Hendrick Jacobszoon Staets (c. 1588–1631; City Carpenter) and Cornelis Danckerts de Rij I (City Mason and Land Surveyor). Danckerts worked closely with de Keyser and probably executed his designs for the Zuiderkerk (1603), the Exchange (1608–11) and the Westerkerk (1620). The tower of the Westerkerk (h. 85 m), which was completed in 1638 and is an important feature of the city's skyline, differs markedly from de Keyser's elegant, openwork design and was probably the work of Danckerts. He continued the square stone base upwards with three progressively smaller blocklike storeys of timber clad with lead, which give the tower its majestic appearance. The angular shapes of the tower are further emphasized by diagonally placed, free-standing columns supporting ornamental urns. The tower is surmounted by the imperial crown, symbol of the city of Amsterdam.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.