Zong Qixiang (1917-1999) was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. From a poor family, he was self-taught. In 1939, he entered the Art Department of the Central Academy and after graduating in 1944, he was hired by Xu Beihong to work as a research assistant in the China Art Academy. He followed Xu Beihong north in 1947, to become an instructor at the National Beiping Art School, and later professor in the Central Art Academy. He retired in 1982.
Zong was known for his portraits and his landscapes.