Beers began his artistic studies at the school of fine arts in Antwerp before moving to Paris in 1878, where he worked in Alfred Stevens' studio.
He started as a history painter, with works relating to the Renaissance, such as Funeral of Charles the Good; but in 1880 he turned towards genre scenes and then portraits. His portraits are sometimes cruel, and he is not always appreciated for his large compositions, least of all by Huysmans, who commented on his 1879 Salon submission: 'demented colours, absurd and crazy notions, a hotch-potch of ancient and modern mixed up on a single canvas'.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Amsterdam: Funeral of Charles the Good
Antwerp (Koninklijk Mus. voor Schone Kunsten): Peter Benoit, Director of the Flemish Conservatory in Antwerp (1883, oil on panel); The Painter's Parents (oil on canvas); Lady in White (oil on panel); Fallen Star (1874, oil on canvas); Henri Rochefort (oil on panel); Jacob van Maerlant on His Deathbed (1879, oil on panel); Maerlant Presiding over the Liberation of Flanders from Breydel and Corninck; William of Jülich; Saeftingen; Emperor Karel as a Child (1879, oil on canvas, triptych)
Boston (MFA): Portrait of a Man (oil on panel)
Brighton (Mus. and AG): Lady of the Directoire (1889, oil on panel)
Brussels (Mus. Royaux des Beaux-Arts): Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt (1888, oil on panel)
Madrid: Peasant Woman from the Ambères Region Milking a Cow
Rouen: Parisian Woman
Washington DC (Nat. Portrait Gal.): Charles Tyson Yerkes (oil on panel)