Chang Lu, also called T'ien-ch'ih and Ping-shan, was born in the northern city of Kaiteng. He is classified as a Che school painter, a school founded by Tai Chin who revitalized the simplified compositions, graded washes and vigorous brushwork of the earlier Southern Sung artists Ma Yuan (active 1189-1225) and Hsia Kuei (active 1180-1224). Chang Lu took greater interest in broad decorative effect, arrested movement and rough brushwork than did earlier Che school masters. Because of his "coarse manner," Chang was placed by later critics in the "mad and depraved" group of the Che school.
With a spontaneous brush, Chang has masterfully recorded an impression of a given moment in time.