Emulation and Admiration:
Two Stories of Collecting European Art

European Master Paintings from San Diego Museum of Art and the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo


Now Touring

Touring Schedule

March 11–June 8, 2025
National Museum of Western Art (Tokyo, Japan)

June 25–October 13, 2025
Kyoto City KYOCERA Museum of Art (Kyoto, Japan)


Emulation and Admiration: Two Stories of Collecting European Art features approximately fifty renowned works from The San Diego Museum of Art permanent collection of Renaissance to early twentieth-century artwork and about forty complementary works from the permanent collection of Japan’s National Museum of Western Art. The unprecedented partnership between the two institutions is inspired in part by the parallel strengths of each collection, which will be weaved together to tell a compelling story of European art. For example, San Diego’s Giotto, Fra Angelico, and Giorgione (among the finest Italian Renaissance paintings in the US), are complemented by NMWA’s Titian, Tintoretto, and Andrea del Sarto. Many of San Diego’s most cherished Spanish paintings, including Sánchez Cotán’s Still Life with Quince, El Greco’s Saint Peter, and Zurbarán’s Lamb of God, are included in the touring exhibition, and will be displayed alongside corresponding works in Tokyo’s collection by Murillo, El Greco, and Juan van der Hamen.

The exhibition, which concludes with a magnificent gallery awash in the light and color of Pissarro and Sorolla, is the first time this outstanding part of San Diego’s permanent collection has been shown in Asia.


Featured at top right: Juan Sánchez Cotán, Still Life with Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber, ca. 1602. Oil on canvas. Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam, 1945.43.