Ai Zhongxin (1915-2003) was born in Shanghai. He studied in Nanjing under Xu Beihong and others in 1936. As a student, he attended the Chinese Art Exhibition in Moscow in 1937. In 1946, he joined the teaching staff at Beiping National Art Academy. He became the head of the Oil Painting Department of Central Art Academy after 1949. In the early 1950s, he participated in Konstantin Maksimov's painting classes at the Central Art Academy.
Ai was known as an oil painter who was much influenced by Soviet socialist realism. Many of his works have been included in national collections.