Cao Wen (1926) was born in Anqiu, Shandong Province. Before his graduation from the National Central Art Academy in Nanjing in 1945, he studied for a number of years with individual artists all over China, including in Xi'an. In the period 1950-1955, he worked for the propaganda section of the Nanjing Municipal Public Security Bureau. From 1955 onward, he worked in a number of administrative and creative capacities within the art world of Nanjing.
Cao is mainly known for his landscape painting.