Hendrik van den Keere

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Hendrik van den Keere (c. 1540–2 – 1580) was a sixteenth-century punchcutter, or engraver of punches to make metal type, who lived in Ghent in modern Belgium. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_0

Career Hendrik van den Keere_section_0

Van den Keere was the son of Ghent printer and schoolmaster Hendrik van den Keere the Elder, and his career has sometimes been confused with that of his father. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_1

Both he and his father used the name "Henri du Tour" in French. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_2

Van den Keere's grandfather had taken over the type foundry of . Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_3

In 1566 he took over his father's printing firm, but soon gave up printing and began to specialise in punchcutting. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_4

From 1568 he worked particularly for Christophe Plantin of Antwerp, who operated a gigantic printing concern by contemporary standards. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_5

Antwerp was down the River Scheldt from Ghent, where he remained living. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_6

He was Plantin's sole typecaster from 1569 onwards. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_7

Over the course of his career he cut around 30 typefaces. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_8

Types Hendrik van den Keere_section_1

Van den Keere primarily cut type in the textura style of blackletter, roman type and music type. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_9

The largest roman types cut by van den Keere had very bold proportions, a high x-height and a dense type colour on the page, a style that remained popular in the Netherlands after his death and became called the "Dutch taste". Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_10

Hendrik Vervliet has suggested that the goal was to create roman type "comparable for weight with Gothic letters" at a time when blackletter was still very popular for continuous reading. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_11

His Gros canon was used by Plantin in his 1574 Commune sanctorum, a church liturgy song-book intended to be readable at a distance by an entire choir. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_12

John A. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_13 Lane comments that his roman types "must be accepted as a major innovation...[they] influenced the seventeenth-century Dutch types that in turn influenced types in England and elsewhere" although Leon Voet felt that they "never quite equaled the elegance of his French models". Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_14

As influences on his types, Vervliet suggests an earlier type cut by Maarten de Keyser, and Lane some more recent types by Ameet Tavernier, Robert Granjon and Pierre Haultin. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_15

His body text type in contrast is very similar to earlier types by engravers such as Claude Garamond and Granjon, who also worked for Plantin. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_16

Van den Keere also cut a rotunda gothic type, apparently based on Spanish lettering and intended for a book to be sent to Spain, a Civilité and in Lane's view probably a set of Gothic capitals used as initials with an interlaced (Dutch: gestricte) design. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_17

He is not known to have cut any italic types, which were not popular in the Netherlands during the 1570s. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_18

Besides his own types, he justified matrices (setting their spacing) from other engravers, cut replacement characters for some of Plantin's types with shorter ascenders and descenders to allow tighter linespacing, and in 1572 compiled an inventory for Plantin of the types Plantin owned. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_19

Van den Keere also owned matrices for type by other engravers, at the end of his life owning three roman types by Claude Garamond, two romans by Ameet Tavernier, and six italics and a music type by Robert Granjon. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_20

Legacy Hendrik van den Keere_section_2

Van den Keere died young between 11 July and October 1580, giving him a mature career of only about 12 years, likely as a result of a leg injury he mentioned in his final letter to Plantin. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_21

Van den Keere's family were Protestants, and with the capture of Ghent in 1584 by Spanish royal forces van den Keere's daughter (or Coletta) and his son Pieter, who became an engraver and mapmaker, lived in London around the period 1584 – 1593. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_22

There in 1587 at the Dutch Church, Austin Friars Collette married Jodocus Hondius, a mapmaker who was probably also a punchcutter. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_23

Pieter sometimes collaborated with him. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_24

All three later returned to the Netherlands; following Hondius's death Collette took over his publishing business. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_25

In 1581, van den Keere's widow sold many of his punches and matrices to Plantin. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_26

Plantin's successors scrupulously preserved the sixteenth-century materials and records of his printing office, which became the Plantin-Moretus Museum, and a large amount of van den Keere's work survives intact there. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_27

Thomas de Vechter, van den Keere's foreman, also acquired many of his materials from his widow, documented in a surviving inventory. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_28

He moved to Antwerp and then Leiden, establishing a type foundry casting many van den Keere types. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_29

De Vechter's foundry was later taken over by Arent Corsz Hogenacker in stages from 1619 – 1623, and on the closure of his type foundry in 1672 his types reached other Dutch foundries. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_30

Matrices for the interlaced capitals ended up owned by the type foundry of Koninklijke Joh. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_31 Enschedé although Enschedé's records do not clearly confirm where they came from or when Enschedé acquired them. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_32

Digital fonts Hendrik van den Keere_section_3

Digital font designers who have designed interpretations of van den Keere's roman type include Kris Sowersby, who describes his work as "dense, sharp and powerful...I love van den Keere’s texturas. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_33

I can feel the influence of them within his roman forms: they’re both narrow, dense and sharp". Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_34

Hoefler & Co.'s release notes for its Quarto typeface, by Sara Soskolne and Jonathan Hoefler, describe van den Keere's Two-Line Double Pica display-sized roman (around 42pt) as "an arresting design marked by striking dramatic tensions"; Soskolne has said that she was attracted to "its crispness, its drama". Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_35

Dutch Type Library (DTL) have published Flamande by Matthew Carter, a revival of his textura, as well as revivals of his roman types under the names DTL Van den Keere and DTL Gros Canon for a display size. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_36

Fred Smeijers, whose TEFF Renard typeface is based on his work, felt that basing a typeface on his work produced a "solid and sturdy variant of the Garamond style" and that he was "one of the first to make roman display types that were explicitly conceived as such." Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_37

DTL's founder received a doctorate on the spacing and proportions of early metal type, including van den Keere's, from Leiden University in 2016. Hendrik van den Keere_sentence_38


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hendrik van den Keere.