The unveiling of Zhejiang University Press Italian Office was held at the National Central Library of Florence on 24th September, 2018. LUO Weidong, vice-president of Zhejiang University, donated A Collection of Yuan Dynasty Paintings, part of “The Series of Ancient Chinese Painting”, to the National Central Library of Florence on behalf of Zhejiang University at the ceremony. YAN Jinlin, Deputy Consul-General of the Chinese Consulate General in Florence, LUO Weidong, vice-president of Zhejiang University, Silvia Alessandri, deputy director of the National Central Library of Florence, and LU Dongming, president of Zhejiang University Press attended the event and made speeches. The ceremony was presided over by ZHANG Chen, deputy editor-in-chief of Zhejiang University Press.
The importance of Song and Yuan Dynasties to Chinese painting history, according to LUO, is just the same as Greece to the history of philosophy. It has already become a conventional tradition in the industry. Existing quality Yuan paintings provide a window to observe Chinese history, traditional Chinese painting and Chinese art. However, all museums value them as the most important treasure since they have a history of near 1,000 years and will not show them easily even to researchers. The publication of A Collection of Yuan Dynasty Paintings allows many ancient Chinese paintings to “go” outside the museums, providing an opportunity for people to understand Chinese paintings and fall in love with China because of a single painting in the book.
As an important part of Zhejiang University Press’s “The Series of Ancient Chinese Painting”, A Collection of Yuan Dynasty Paintings includes about 670 existing Yuan paintings collected by more than 110 institutions in China, Japan, Europe and America. It is divided into 5 volumes – Volume of the Palace Museum, Volume of Shanghai Museum, Volume of Europe and America, Volume of Japan, and Volume of Scattered Domestic Works. It is not only another large-scale dynastic painting collection following Zhejiang University Press’ A Collection of Song Dynasty Paintings but an overall, global organization and compilation of Yuan Dynasty paintings. This book collects the most complete Yuan Dynasty painting resources in the world, integrates the latest domestic and overseas research achievements, and adopts the most advanced publishing and printing techniques to provide specific, scientific basic documents for later generations to learn and research Yuan Dynasty painting art and meanwhile lay the philological and iconological foundation for the further study of the art history of Yuan Dynasty.
Silvia Alessandri, deputy director of the National Central Library of Florence, thanked Zhejiang University for the donation and said that A collection of Yuan Dynasty Paintings not only is delicate in printing but has high academic value, making it precious for teachers and students to study and research ancient Chinese art. He added that Florence, as the cultural center of Europe and the birthplace of the Renaissance, collects the essence of Italian art and culture. The establishment of Zhejiang University Press Italian Office serves as an important bridge for the exchange of China-Italia humanity and art.
Compiled by Zhejiang University and Zhejiang Cultural Heritage Administration, “The Series of Ancient Chinese Painting” is the first large-scale national publishing program that makes overall, systematic investigation, organization and textual research of existing ancient Chinese paintings on paper and silks from Pre-Qin to Qing Dynasties all over the world. A Collection of Song Dynasty Paintings (23 volumes) and A Collection of Yuan Dynasty Paintings (16 volumes), which have already been published, are considered as the most complete and authoritative collections of Song and Yuan Dynasties so far, integrating appreciation value, academic value and collection value. The two collections have already been collected by many important overseas institutions, including UNESCO, Library of Congress, The British Library, National Library of France, and Berlin State Library.