Wu Dezu (1923-1991) was born in Weinan, Shaanxi Province. In 1939, he went to Yan'an, where he studied at the Lu Xun Art and Literature Academy. He worked in the Shaan-Gan-Ning Revolutionary Base Area and for the Northeastern Illustrated (东北画报, Dongbei huabao), the People's Illustrated (人民画报, Renminhuabao) and the People's Fine Arts Publishing House. In 1957, he graduated from the Oil Painting Class taught by the Soviet expert Maksimov at the Central Art Academy. Wu became teacher at the Oil Painting Department of the Xi'an Art Academy.
In 2018, the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC, Beijing) acquired a collection of Wu's works from his heirs, and showed these in an exhibition.