The son of Hermann Courtens, Pierre became a pupil at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in St Joost-ten-Node in 1937 and was taught there by Jacques Maes. He also studied at the Anto Carte Académie Royale in Antwerp, where he learned engraving techniques. His work was occasionally featured in the Salons des Réalités Nouvelles, the Salons des Artistes Indépendants and Surindépendants in Paris; he also exhibited with the École de Paris at the Galerie Charpentier as well as with other groups. Solo exhibitions included those in Paris, New York and Beirut in 1957. Pierre Courtens combined a style of drawing featuring intersecting arabesques whose curves bounded expanses of vibrant colours.