Pieter Boel, christened on 22nd October 1622 in Antwerp, first learned from his father, the engraver, publisher and art dealer, Jan Boel. Then, according to Félibien, he apprenticed to Frans Snyders, but more probably to Jan Fijt. In the late 1640s Boel set off for Italy, where he stayed in Rome and Genoa. By 1650, at the latest, he had returned to his hometown, since at that time he became master of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke and married Maria Blanckaert, daughter of the Antwerp painter Jan Blanckaert. In 1661 he was praised in De Bie's "Gulden Cabinet" as a highly esteemed animal, flower and fruit painter. The figures in his paintings were executed by Erasmus Quellinus II, Pieter Thijs, Jacob Jordaens or Abraham van Diepenbeeck. Shortly after 1668 Pieter Boel moved with his family to Paris, where he designed cartons with animal and fruit depictions for tapestries as an employee of Charles Le Brun in the "Manufacture Royal des Gobelins". In 1674 King Louis XIV appointed him "peintre ordinaire" and he made animal studies in the Royal Menagerie. Among his pupils is the Antwerp still life and animal painter David de Coninck. Boel died on 3rd September 1674 in Paris, where according to Van den Branden he was buried in the presence of Adam Frans van der Meulen in Saint-Hippolyte. His eldest son Jan Baptist returned to Antwerp after the death of his father and married into the family of the landscape painter Philips Augustijn Immenraet in 1675.