He was born in Buchhorn (now Friedrichshafen, Germany) to a family of German origin. In 1790 he went to Milan to study in the Brera Academy of Fine Arts. While there, he was a student of celebrated Italian architect Giuseppe Piermarini.
Pertsch married Maddalena Vogel in 1802, who gave him three daughters and four sons. Three of the four sons continued in their father's craft as architects.
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