Gu Yizhou (1923-1987) was born in Yuncheng, Shanxi Province. Gu joined the Eight Route Army in 1937 and started with creative work in 1942. In the following years, he was active in occupied areas as an editor, artist and arts administrator. In 1954, he took a two-year refresher course at the Central Art Academy and then joined the Beijing Painting Academy.
Gu was known for his New Year pictures and Chinese paintings, some of which have been included in national collections. He was awarded numerous prizes.