(b Antwerp, bapt 30 April 1654; d Antwerp,
bur 6 March 1724).
Sculptor, architect and book illustrator, son of Peeter
Verbrugghen. He began his career under the book illuminator Jan
Ruyselinck but became a master sculptor in 1682, the year he married
Susanna Verhulst. He became Dean of the Guild of St Luke in 1689.
Most of his work was done for churches. In 1684 he created two
limewood side altars (h. 5 m) for the chapel of Our Lady of Good
Will at Duffel. Here he introduced into the Netherlands a new motif,
derived from the work of Bernini and consisting of an oval painting
supported by two flying angels. His communion rails (l. 20 m; 1695)
for St Walburgis, Bruges, are a highpoint of Flemish Baroque
sculpture; the virtuoso handling of the marble makes them look as if
modelled from wax. His tactile sense is best shown in the figure of
St Augustine (h. 7 m; 1697), placed under the pulpit of St
Augustine’s, Antwerp, in which the grain of the wood is used to
suggest the wrinkles of the saint’s face and the texture of his
clothes. In the highly original oak pulpit he made for the Jesuits
of Leuven (1696–9; Brussels Cathedral), a narrative scene is
included under the body of the pulpit, which is united in a
curvilinear movement with the supporting beams and the sound-board.
In 1713 Henricus-Franciscus went bankrupt, but he continued his work
on the marble high altar (1713–19) of St Bavo, Ghent.