According to the “Home records of Xiao Shan Ren Family,” Ren Xiong was born in the third year of Daoguang of the Qing Dynasty (1823) June 12, and died in the seventh year of Xianfeng (1857) on the seventh of October, at the age 35 years old. His other names including Wei Zhang, Xiang Pu and Bu She. His home town is Xiaoshan, Zhejiang Province.
Ren Xiong was an important figure in the painting world of the Qing dynasty. Known as one of the "Shanghai Three Bears", and "Maritime Four-Terms." He is known for his skills in painting flowers, landscapes, animals, insects, fish, and specialized in portraits. One of his representative artwork – a huge self-portrait over 170cm, where he is portrayed as standing tall, with a solemn expression and his hands clasped together in front of his abdomen. The painting is now in the possession of the National Palace Museum.
Ren Xiong is known by most people for his accomplishments in painting, and less known for his work in woodblock prints. His prints focused on the human figure, portrayed meticulously and in realistic design. His notable prints and representative work include "The Sages to Pass", "Swordsman’s Biography", "Immortals Liquor License ", and "Goldsmith’s Biography ," and were all prints that were made after Jiaqing period of the mid-Qing Dynasty. The Prints of “Immortal Liquor License” and “Swordsman’s Biography” by Ren Xiong are collected in the following catalogues and books: “The catalogue of Qing dynasty Prints” by Huang Yong Nian and “The history of Chinese Prints” by Zheng Zhen Duo. Huang Yon Nian was an important bibliographer in print and Zheng Zhen Duo a famous collector in Chinese prints.
Editions of prints by Ren Xiong are mainly from the Xianshan Wong family Yang He Tong edition, from the seventh year of Xianfeng, inscribed by the first work of Cai Zhao Chu and re-inscribed in later years.
Ren Xiong's work hold an important place in the history of Chinese woodblocking.