Yang Jianhou (1910-1993) was born in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. In 1927, he entered the Wuxi Art School and in 1930 he moved on to the Art Department of the Nanjing National Art Education Academy, where he studied under Xu Beihong. Until his graduation in 1935, he was actively involved in establishing and joining art associations in Wuxi, Nanjing and Shanghai. During the war years, Yang served as head of the propaganda group of the Chongqing Roving Education Services Group; as editor in the Education Materials Secretariat of the Editorial Committee under the Ministry of Education; and as teacher at the Chongqing National Art School. After 1947, he taught at the Guangxi Provincial Art School, Nanjing Jinling University, Nanjing University and the Nanjing Art Academy. He finally became professor in the Art Department of Nanjing Normal University.
Yang was a versatile artist, producing sketches, oil paintings, landscapes, flower-and-bird paintings and figurative work. Some of his works have been included in the collections of the Museum of the Chinese People's Revolutionary Army and the Chinese Museum of History.