Shen Tao (1915-2011), formerly known as Shen Xuehua (沈雪华), was born in Lin'an, Zhejiang Province. He graduated from the Educational Department of the Shanghai New China Art School in 1935 and taught art classes at public and private secondary schools and normal schools in Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu. After 1954, he taught at the East China Art School and the Nanjing Art Academy; at the latter Academy, he became a Professor.
In his youth, Shen concentrated on Western and Chinese drawing, nature, flower-and-bird and figurative painting. In the 1930s, he focussed on realistic Chinese painting and modern portrait sketches. In the 1950s, he taught and worked in the 'meticulous' gongbi (工笔) style. Some of his works have been included in the collection of the China Art Gallery.