Family of Netherlandish painters, distinguished mainly as portraitists. Pieter (b Gouda, c.1523; d Bruges, 30 Jan. 1584) spent most of his life in Bruges, where he became a member of the painters' guild in 1543 and developed into the leading artist of his generation. He was a civil engineer, surveyor, and cartographer as well as a painter. Van Mander wrote, ‘I have never seen a better equipped studio than his.’ As well as portraits, he painted religious and allegorical scenes, one of the most splendid of which is the Allegory of True Love (c.1547, Wallace Coll., London). Pieter's son, Frans the Elder (b Bruges, 1545; d Antwerp, 19 Sept. 1581), was active in Antwerp, where he was a pupil and follower of Frans Floris (he married a daughter of Cornelis Floris).
Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)