Pan Yuliang's life (1895-1977) was an interesting story that was made into a movie in 1994 starring Gong Li. The movie is called "A Soul Haunted by Painting"(or "Hua Hun"). I will have to rent it soon! Apparently her parents died when she was young and she was sold to a brothel at 14. But, at age 21, a customs official rescued her and sent her to art school in Shanghai. From there, she went to France to study and also studied in Rome. She returned to China from 1929-1937, but after that lived in France for the rest of her life. She won countless awards, lived a full life and loved to paint nude women. Her paintings were considered "depraved" in China by conservatives from 1930-40.
Read about Pan Yuliang's life and see more paintings.
Thanks to Internet Weekly for turning me on to this remarkable woman painter.