Born in Beijing in1889 of Manchu ethnicity, Yu had been immersed in Chinese painting since childhood. He was a well-recognized painter of Chinese Gongbi painting. He practiced and studied a great amount of ancient Chinese paintings while he was serving at the Palace Museum. After 1949, he served at National Institute of Fine Arts and other several important institutes of art. His calligraphy style was an imitation after Zhao Ji's “Slender Gold Script”; he also had a good understanding of classification and production of Chinese painting pigments. Peony, dahlia, canna, peace dove, and apricot are his specialties; his arts were appreciated and practiced by the later literati artists.