Pieter Withoos was born in Amersfoort. According to his biographer Arnold Houbraken he was the second son of the painter Matthias Withoos (1627-1703), also known as Calzetta Bianca. When French troops occupied Amersfoort in 1672, the Withoos family fled to Hoorn. Five out of eight children followed their father’s footsteps, including the botanical artist Alida Withoos. Houbraken describes Pieter as follows:
“hy schilderde Bloemen, en alle soort van kleine Diertjes, met waterverf, gelyk zyn Vader in zyn tyd ook wel gedaan heeft, die ieder byzonder op een blad, tot een Boek vergaderd werden, welke nog in handen van de beminnaars van Papierkonst bewaart worden en geagt zyn.”1
He painted flowers and all sorts of small insects, with watercolor, like his father at the time, that were exquisitely arranged on a sheet, collected in an albums, mostly admired and in the possession of drawing admirors. Pieter died on 23 April 1692 in Amsterdam.
Like his father, Pieter executed paintings as well as drawings, primarily butterflies, insects and birds. Agnetha Block commissioned him to paint eight plants, a sheet with several insects and seventeen drawings with birds of which one was a collaboration with Johannes Bronkhorst.