Lange Pier, as he became known because of his height, became member of the painters guild of Antwerp in 1535 and moved to Amsterdam in 1556. Mostly famous for his market scenes and his kitchen scenes, he also painted other subjects, including religious works, where the scene often takes place within a market scene, historical paintings, still lifes and portraits.

The father of three sons, who also became painters, he was the patriarch of a long line of artists; most distinguished among them was his nephew and student Joachim Beuckelaer. His contribution to the flourishing Flemish art in the 16th century was on a par to that of Bruegel’s.