Jan de Beer was born in or near Antwerp. According to the RKD he was the son of the painter Claes de Beer and the father of the glasspainter Arnould de Beer. A student at the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke, he became a master in 1504. In 1515 he became a dean of the Guild. He later took on apprentices, including his son, Aert de Beer. He died in his home city of Antwerp.