Wu Zuoren (1908-1997) was born in Jingxian County, Anhui Province. He started his studies at the Department of Fine Arts of the Shanghai University of Arts in 1927. The prominent Chinese painter Xu Beihong recommended him in 1929 to go to Europe to receive further education. Wu studied in Paris and Brussels. After his return in 1935, Wu taught at the Central University, then located in Nanjing. In 1946, Wu joined Xu Beihong to take over the Beiping State Academy of Arts, and subsequently served there as professor and Dean of Studies.
Since 1949, Wu has occupied various positions in the world of art: he was vice-president, president and honorary president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and president of the Chinese Artists Association. His oil paintings and Chinese paintings have been exhibited many times both in China and abroad.