Tang Yongli was born in 1951 in Tangshan, Hebei Province. He is a professor and doctoral supervisor at Central Academy of Fine Arts and an Academy Committee member and a research fellow at the Traditional Chinese Painting Institute of China National Academy of Painting. He is a member of the Senior Titles Review Committee of the Ministry of Culture and council member of China Artists Association. He was the dean of the School of Chinese Painting of Central Academy of Fine Arts. In 1985, he was admitted to the graduate class of figure painting of the Chinese Painting Department of Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now China Academy of Art). After graduation, he stayed there as a teacher. In 2000, he was transferred to the Department of Chinese Painting of Central Academy of Fine Arts.