The Gallery hosts Romania’s premier collection of European art. In time, the Picture Gallery of King Carol I was complemented with works from various the Ioan and Dr. Nicolae Kalinderu, Toma Stelian, Anastasie Simu, and Al. Saint-Georges collections alongside paintings from the Bucharest Municipal Picture Gallery. After 1950 the collection continued to grow through donations and acquisitions.

Paintings and sculptures reflect developments of important European schools in chronological order. Paintings by Domenico Veneziano, Jacopo Bassano, Bronzino, Tintoretto and Luca Giordano tell a story of Italian art throughout nearly four centuries, while those of Rembrandt and Jan Davidsz de Heem remind visitors of the Golden Age of Dutch art. Flemish art of the 17th century is particularly well represented through works by Pieter Paul Rubens, Pieter van Mol, Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Jan Brueghel the Elder. Spanish school highlights focus on three El Greco paintings illustrative of his career development.

The German school includes works by Lucas Cranach the Elder and Hans von Aachen, whereas the French one brings center stage paintings by famous 19th century artists such as Claude Monet, Paul Signac and Alfred Sisley alongside sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Camille Claudel and Antoine Bourdelle.