From Renaissance and Baroque artists like Bellini and Tiepolo to 19th century French impressionism including Monet and Pissarro, the High's European collection reflects important paintings and sculptures from that continent.

The core of the collection was donated in 1958 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and includes Giovanni Bellini's Madonna and Child, Tommaso del Mazza's Madonna and Child with Six Saints and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's Roman Matron's Making Offerings to Juno.

In the decades that followed, the museum acquired important French paintings by such masters as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot. Recent acquisitions of works range from Albrecht Dürer to Antoine-Louis Barye and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.