Pieter Casteels was born in Antwerp where he studied painting with his father before emigrating to London in 1708 with his brother-in-law, Pieter Tillemans, a painter of country house views and sporting scenes. Although Casteels briefly returned to Antwerp in 1713 to become a Master, his main practice was in London where he specialised in paintings of assemblies of birds often set against elaborate, architectural backdrops, much in the manner of Melchior de Hondecoeter. Casteels was Director of the Kneller Academy in 1711 and his success in England enabled him to retire in 1735. He died in Richmond, Surrey, on 16 May 1749.
We are grateful to Mr Fred Meijer of the Rijksbureau voor Kunst Historische Documentatie for confirming the attribution to Casteels on the basis of photographs.