Liu Yantao was born in Henan in 1908. Inspired by the Manual of the Mustard Seed Garden, he developed interest in art and followed Hu Peiheng while studying at the Faculty of Chinese at the Peking University. After graduation, he was nominated to be the Editor of the Chinese Paintings of the National Palace Museum. Liu specialized in literature, calligraphy and paintings on the basis of Han and Wei Dynasties tablet inscriptions. Liu assisted the making of Model Book of Standard Cursive Script with Yu Youren, and published the Theory of Cursive Script. In terms of his career, he was a committee member at the Control Yuan of the Republic of China from 1947 to 1989.