As treasures of fine traditional Chinese culture, ancient Chinese paintings are important carriers of the cultural confidence of the Chinese nation. A Comprehensive Collection of Ancient Chinese Paintings, compiled and published by Zhejiang University and the Zhejiang Provincial Administration of Cultural Heritage, was approved by Comrade Xi Jinping in 2005, who has highly valued and closely followed it over the years. It is a key national-scale cultural project that covers the entirety of Chinese history and involves Chinese and foreign museums and other cultural institutions.
A Comprehensive Collection of Ancient Chinese Paintings includes a total of 12,405 Chinese paintings (sets) on paper, silk (including brocade and damask), linen and other materials from 263 museums and other cultural institutions at home and abroad. These include 9,155 pieces from domestic collections and 3,250 pieces from foreign collections, covering the majority of the extant “national treasure” paintings. A total of 226 books in 60 volumes have been compiled and published, including A Collection of Pre-Qin to Tang Dynasties Paintings, A Collection of Song Dynasty Paintings, A Collection of Yuan Dynasty Paintings, A Collection of Ming Dynasty Paintings, and A Collection of Qing Dynasty Paintings. These publications, covering most of the extant national treasures, are the world’s most complete, best illustrated, best printed, and most extensive collections of illustrated Chinese paintings to date.
A Comprehensive Collection of Ancient Chinese Paintings is listed as a Zhejiang Culture Research Project, a National Publication Foundation Project, and a Major Entrusted Project of the National Social Science Fund. It also features in “Suggestions on Implementation of Projects to Promote and Develop Traditional Chinese Cultural Excellence”, “Outline of the National Cultural Development and Reform Plan during the 13th Five-Year Plan Period”, the “Cultural Development Plan during the 14th Five-Year Plan Period” issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council, and the “National Development Plan for Philosophy and Social Sciences during the 14th Five-Year Plan Period” issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee. During the implementation of the project, we received strong support from the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee (National Press and Publication Administration), the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, the National Cultural Heritage Administration, the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, the China Artists Association, the National Publication Foundation Planning and Management Office, and leaders of various departments at all levels, such as the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the CPC and the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government, as well as from many museums and other cultural institutions at home and abroad, together with experts and scholars.
The remarkable achievements of A Comprehensive Collection of Ancient Chinese Paintings have effectively promoted contemporary Chinese cultural art and academic progress, demonstrated the splendid Chinese civilization, and strengthened the Chinese cultural image. Furthering the popularity and reach of this project is of great significance to the creative shifts and innovative development of traditional Chinese cultural excellence, the prosperity of Chinese culture and art, and the enhancement of national cultural strength. It will contribute to adding luster to Chinese culture, and building China into a country with a strong socialist culture.