According to Flemish art historian Karel van Mander, Pieter Isaacsz spent a year and a half in Amsterdam, learning to paint under the instruction of Cornelis Ketel. Isaacz would later study under Hans von Aachen.
Pieter Isaacsz' father was from Haarlem, Netherlands. Van Mander claimed the father still lived in Amsterdam, and went on to describe several portraits by him which he particularly admired, including a half-length portrait of Sara Schurmans playing a citar. His most popular piece was an oil-on-copper painting with a procession of angry women in Rome on hearing that the Senate had decided in favor of polygamy for men.
Later in his life Pieter Isaacsz became the teacher of Adriaen van Nieulandt, according to Dutch art historian Arnold Houbraken (who mistakenly called Isaacz "Pieter Fransz"). According to the RKD (Netherlands Institute for Art History), Isaacsz travelled back and forth to Denmark several times, which is possibly where he later died.
He was the subject of an exhibition at Frederiksborg Palace in 2007 as the man behind the collection's most famous portraits. According to CODART he was court painter of the Danish king Christian IV who became a spy in Swedish service and died of the plague in Elsinore.
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel
- Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
- Lower Saxony State Museum, Hanover
- Frederiksborg Palace, Hillerød
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
- (in Dutch) Hans van Aken, uytnemende Schilder van Cuelen in Karel van Mander's Schilderboeck, 1604, courtesy of the Digital library for Dutch literature
- (in Dutch) Pieter Fransz in De groote schouburgh der Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen (1718) by Arnold Houbraken, courtesy of the Digital library for Dutch literature
- "Explore Pieter Isaacsz". rkd.nl.
- "Pieter Isaacsz: hofmaler og spion". www.codart.nl. Archived from the original on 2015-09-12. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
Media related to Pieter Isaacsz at Wikimedia Commons