China Art Digital Library

Comprehensive collection of Chinese fine art images

China Art Digital Library (CADT) provides an expansive collection of works from Chinese fine arts, including paintings, calligraphy/seal cutting, sculpture, photography, and folk art. Offered via the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) platform, China Art Digital Library comprises art images from a growing collection of albums, museum and exhibition catalogs, while its unique “Images + Literature” feature provides references and links to relevant content in China Academic Journals (CAJ) and China Doctoral/Master Dissertations Full-Text Database (CDMD). China Art Digital Library enjoys cooperation with top art publishing houses in China, including the China Academy of Art Press, Henan Art Publishing House, Sanqin Publishing House, Jiangxi Fine Arts Publishing House, Xiling Seal Engravers’ Society Publishing House, Zhejiang Photographic Press, and others.

At present, China Art Digital Library includes over 780,000 art images from more than 400 albums, museum and exhibition catalogs, and includes references to nearly 720,000 supporting research documents available in CAJ and CDMD. CNKI will continue to add new images as they become available from Chinese art exhibition catalogs and international Chinese exhibitions.

China Art Digital Library

Key Stats

  • Archive: 1981-2020
  • Language: Chinese content with English, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese interfaces
  • Country: China
  • Number of Images: over 780,000
  • Updates: Continuous
  • Format: PDF images
  • Producer: Tongfang Knowledge Network Ltd.
  • Platform: CNKI (TKN)

About China Art Digital Library


CADT includes more than 400 albums in the field of painting, calligraphy, photography, sculpture and folk art, nearly 780,000 art images and nearly 720,000 supporting research documents.

  • Paintings: 288 titles (Chinese painting, oil painting, printmaking, lacquer painting, gouache painting, etc.)
  • Calligraphy/Seal Cutting: 114 titles (stele, calligraphy, seal carving , etc.)
  • Sculpture: 18 titles (brick sculpture, wood sculpture, clay sculpture, ceramic sculpture, bamboo sculpture, etc.)
  • Photography: 73 titles (landscape, portrait, custom, still life, etc.)
  • Folk art: 92 titles (ceramics, paper-cut, embroidery, shadow play, etc.)
  • Comprehensive Works: 78 titles (Dunhuang-related works, etc.)
Features and Functions
  • In-depth information: Includes artists’ information, techniques, history background, theory research and so on.
  • Continuous collection of information on Chinese art exhibitions and international Chinese exhibitions.
  • “Featured Series” section focuses on masters’ works and themed collections.
  • Related images and texts: Use the “Images + Literatures” feature to reference and link to relevant content.
  • Integration of picture and theory research: CADT combines image data (style, expression, interpreations, etc.) with academic literature. By means of the “artists + works + research” tool, users gain a more comprehensive understanding of the performance content, artistic characteristics and even historical background of the works while enriching learning in cultural studies, history, religion, and social sciences.
  • Search and navigation: The platform allows for basic and advanced search, and includes classification navigation. Users can browse collections by classification, publisher and publication date, and individual albums can be browsed by pinyin, stroke, and subject index.
  • HD and full-screen display: CADT provides HD and full-screen display, including image rotation and scaling. Image quality ranges from 300-600dpi, with images restored using CNKI-developed image processing technology.
  • Downloads: Due to copyright protection, the platform does not provide image downloads, but users are able to download PDFs of the entire album.

Note: China Art Digital Library is not cross-searchable with other CNKI databases but does include links to literature found in CAJ and CDMD, allowing CAJ and CDMD subscribers to seamlessly download relevant full-text articles.

About China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI)

CNKI is the world’s most comprehensive online resource for accessing China’s intellectual output. This powerful platform is the product of Tongfang Knowledge Network, Beijing, and encompasses academic journals, dissertations, conference papers, news, and many other resources that put the knowledge of China in the sciences and humanities at your fingertips. With tens of millions of articles and growing every day, CNKI is a foundation for any serious research on China. CNKI is hosted in the United States by East View and updated daily.

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