PU HSIN YU (PU RU/PU YU/PU JU)
Pu Ru was born in a royal imperial Manchu family in Beijing in 1896 as a grandson of Emperor Dao-Guang (1821 - 1851). He was also popularly known by his style name Pu Hsin-Yu. Originally, his imperial Manchu family name was Aixinjueluo ( 愛新覺羅 ). However, after the collapse of the Ching Dynasty, he gave up his imperial Manchu family name and called himself Pu Ru in which Pu became his family name. In 1908, he was selected as one of the candidates to succeed the dying Emperor Guang-Hsu (1875-1909) but he lost to his cousin Pu Yi who was then the last emperor (1909 - 1911) of the Ching Dynasty.
He received his undergraduate education from a university in Beijing. After graduation, in 1914, he went to continue his study at the Berlin University in Germany. In 1922, he was awarded a doctorate degree in biology and astronomy from the university. He then went back to China and lived in the Je Tai Monastery at Hsi-Shan ("western mountain") of Beijing where he further refined his arts in painting, calligraphy and poetry. He had a nickname of "Hermit of Hsi-Shan".
He started learning Chinese calligraphy at age 4. However, he did not receive formal training in Chinese painting. He learned his painting skills and knowledge from the art collections of the imperial Manchu family. His works were highly honored by the people and he became one of the most respected contemporary masters in Chinese painting and calligraphy. He was also recognized as an accomplished poet. He was once recognized as the leading painter in Northern China while Zhang Da-Chian (1898-1983) was recognized as the leader in the South. His works are collected in most of the museums in China and Taiwan.
In 1949, he moved to Taiwan. He taught at the National Taiwan Normal University. He also taught students privately. He traveled extensively around Asia and gave lectures in Chinese paintings during his trips. In 1954, he received an award in art from the Education Department of R.O.C. for his book on Chinese painting. In 1955, he was awarded an honorary doctor degree in art from Seoul National University. He passed away in 1963 in Taipei at the age of 68.