Born in Beijing in 1932, Zeng Shanqing graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under the distinguished painter, Xu Beihong (1896-1953). Xu Beihong’s ideal of combining Chinese ink painting with European styles of realistic drawing has deeply influenced Zeng. After finishing his graduate study in 1952, Zeng stayed on to teach at the Central Academy. In 1952, he taught in the Department of Architecture at Tsinghua University; there he met and married his wife, the painter Yang Yanping. Zeng’s career was disrupted by the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960s, and he was not able to resume teaching and painting until 1972. In 1986, both Zeng and Yang Yanping went as fellows to the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and they have remained on Long Island ever since. Like his teacher, Zeng Shanqing’s major and best-known subject is the horse, a creature which is often admired for its beauty and strength, and which has been an important and multivalent subject in Chinese painting since at least the Tang Dynasty.