Qian Songyan (1899-1985), a native of Yixing, Jiangsu Province, learned painting from his father when young. He graduated in 1923 from the Jiangsu Provincial No. Three Normal College. After 1949, he taught at art academies in Suzhou and Wuxi. Qian has exhibited both within China and abroad. He was, among other functions, deputy to the National People's Congress.