Wu Li (1632-1718), pintor e poeta que viveu durante a dinastia Qing, foi o primeiro intelectual chinês a frequentar o Colégio de S. Paulo (durante 7 anos) na segunda metade do século XVII, acabando por se tornar padre jesuíta com quase 60 anos. Oriundo da China, a sua vida mudou aos 50 anos com a morte da mulher. Foi nessa altura que decidiu ir viver para Macau. No Colégio de S. Paulo aprendeu latim e aprimorou a arte da pintura (e da caligrafia) e da escrita, tornando-se um dos primeiros grandes poetas chineses a tratar nos seus textos os temas do Ocidente. Depois de se ter formado padre decidiu voltar à China passado o resto dos seus dias (cerca de 30 anos) em missão evangélica, recusando o convite para ser pintor da corte imperial.
Wu Li (1632-1718) was an outstanding seventeenth-century Chinese painter, poet and calligrapher from Jiang-su. At the age of 57 he was ordained as a Jesuit priest, after 7 years of training in the Saint Paul College in Macau. He spent the remaining 30 years of his life as tireless priest serving rural villages.
Wu Li, known also as Wu Yushan, was a famous painter, one of the 'Six Great Masters of Early Qing'. He also was a poet, whose artistic talent reached the heights of excellency.
At the age of 50, his life experienced had a dramatic turn. After the death of his wife and his masters, obeying to an internal quest for spiritual excellence, fascinated by the Jesuit art and architecture, he chose to join the Jesuits in Macau in pursue of the 'heavenly learning.' There he strenuously searched 'the Western Lantern, ' struggling to learn a new language (Latin) and to acquire a new religious dimension, on the lines of the 'Spiritual Exercises', as a son of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Wu Li indeed chose for himself a path of self-denial and total dedication to the new faith and to the new ministry. Often disguised as peasant or fisherman, he traveled for thirty years from a village to the next to evangelize. Wu Li could have became a rich and famous court painter, as his friend Wang Hui, he instead chose the obscurity of Jiang-su countryside to serve as a itinerant missionary and pastor.