The museum's permanent galleries include the National Gallery (Romanian medieval and modern art) and the European Art Gallery, hosted in the palace's side wings.
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.
Over 900 icons, mural paintings, embroideries, manuscripts, silverware, woodcarvings, many of them unique, amply survey Romanian art from the 14th – to the early 19th century. Items on display showcase developments in Moldavia, Wallachia and Transylvania, reflecting the intricate manner in which a traditional Byzantine layer blended in Oriental as well as Western influences to generate original local art forms.
The Romanian Modern Art Gallery tells the story of Romanian art from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth century. Representative works by Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, Ioan Andreescu, Theodor Pallady among others, illustrate connections with contemporary French painting while those of M.H. Maxy, Marcel Ianco, Victor Brauner trace the contribution of Romanian art to the European avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s. Early sculptures by Brancusi reveal the master’s will to break away from academic tradition and find a way of his own.