The father and the elder brother of the Yan Libana were court artists. Yun Yan Liben grew up in an atmosphere of art, and after the death of his brother took his position at the Imperial court. When Li Shimin had not yet been elevated to the throne in 626 he told Jan to Libenu to write portraits of their 18 associates, which later helped him to take the throne. 643 in the year, after becoming Emperor, Li Shimin ordered Libang Yan to paint portraits of 20 of the honored dignitaries and military leaders. The portraits were hung in one of the pavilions of the Imperial Palace", Inyanga", and they began to speak of a "portrait gallery, Inyanga". But although Yan Liben was a man of wide erudition and held a high official position at court, but in the eyes of the Emperor, he differed little from an ordinary official.
Yan Liben was born into an aristocratic family that settled in the area Guangjun (it is in the vicinity of XI'an) several generations prior to his birth. His father, Yan Bi was a man possessing many talents, and during his life managed to serve two dynasties: Northern Zhou (557-578) and sui (581-618) as an expert in architecture and fine arts, as well as a construction engineer. In the historical annals of saved messages that Sieroszewski the ruler of Wu (543-578) fan painting Yan Bi gave him a Princess, as the Northern Zhou came to the sui dynasty, Yang Bi made "intricate and beautiful things" to please the Emperor Yang ti (605-617). Yan Bi, also organizes the Imperial ceremonial processions, the invention of weapons and supervise the construction of the great wall of China.
Both son Yan Bi Yan LiDE (mind. 656г.) and Yang Libani (mind.673г.) he studied art from his father. Brothers made a career, when China established the Tang dynasty (618 – 907), and served at the court of Emperor Taizong (627-649). They take a direct part in the construction of the Tang Imperial mausoleum, and was involved in the creation of six famous stone reliefs depicting horses on the pediment of the tomb of Taizong. According to historical evidence, reliefs were made on drawings the Yang of Libana in accordance with the decree Taizong in 637 year (four of them are now stored in the XI'an Museum, and two in Philadelphia). These statues are the favorite steeds of the Emperor represent the best extant stone reliefs of the early period of Tang. It is known that the brothers also co-wrote some of the paintings.
Zhu Cincuan reports that under the Emperor Tizzone Yan Liben was appointed to the position of Deputy chief of Department of punishment. However, its main lessons are, apparently, had different art projects and painting. Just before ascending to the throne in 626, the future Emperor ticzon ordered his eighteen portraits of famous scientists. This work (wall painting) in those days was widely famous, and the inscription accompanying the portraits, composed of one scientist testified to the desire Taizong through the project, to seek public approval of his government, for which Tizzano had to kill his brothers and forcing his father to leave the throne.
In 643 year Liben received an Imperial Commission to write another series of portraits known as "Twenty-four praiseworthy officials in the Palace Linyan". To this work the Emperor ticzon attributed his own Eulogy, testifying to the importance of this wall mural for the anniversary celebration of the founding of the Tang Empire. As well as portraits of scientists, this work before he died, lasted quite a long time. Preserved a drawing made in 1090 by rubbing with relief, on which was engraved one of the copies of this painting. This copy may have some of the stylistic features of the original work. It is possible to see a smooth line depicts four officials, each of whom holds a ceremonial plaque (Hu), as if being present at the Palace audience. They are standing in almost identical poses, however, it is possible to detect some difference in the proportions and features. it looks like the artist took on a double task to portray these people, both as physical individuals and as symbols of devotion. Two wall paintings group portraits were the most famous works of Yan Libana.
In connection with the service of a painter at the court of Emperor Taizong Zhu Cincuan tells a sad anecdote about how one day the Emperor in company with the court I made a walk from Xuanwu lake, watched the play on the water duck, and ordered the servants to call Libena to draw them. Servant of the Emperor was so crass that just shouted, “Call the master artist!” "Libani so ashamed that he left the painting and bequeathed to posterity not to make art," writes Zhu Cincuan. Painting Libani hardly left, but among the descendants of the artists are unknowns.
650 the throne passed to his son Taizong Emperor Gozzano (650-683). Yan Liben served under him as chief architect, then, after the death of his brother, Lyda, took over the post of Minister of public works. About 669 year he received the post of Prime Minister, and Gaotszun for faithful service of two emperors bestowed Libany the title of "Baron Bolin". In 670 year Yan Liben became the head of the Imperial legislative control, and in 673, died.