Events from the year 1870 in art.
- June 28 – Claude Monet marries his mistress and model Camille Doncieux in Paris; Gustave Courbet is a witness.
- July – Franco-Prussian War breaks out: Monet and Pissarro flee to London; Cézanne and his mistress, Marie-Hortense Fiquet, leave Paris for L'Estaque (on the French Riviera) where he predominantly paints landscapes. In September the Dutch painter Lourens Alma Tadema moves permanently to London where he adopts the name Lawrence Alma-Tadema.
- Édouard Manet and Louis Edmond Duranty fight a duel at Café Guerbois, Paris.
- Russian industrialist and patron of the arts Savva Mamontov acquires the Abramtsevo Colony and hosts a group of traditionalist artists there.
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Poems are published, exhumed from Elizabeth Siddal's grave.
- Daoud Corm goes to Rome to study under Roberto Bompiani at the Accademia di San Luca.
- Wilhelm Amberg – Reading from Goethe's Werther (Vorlesung aus Goethes Werther)
- Frédéric Bazille
- Cathy Madox Brown – Ford Madox Brown at his Easel
- Ford Madox Brown – Romeo and Juliet
- Edward Burne-Jones – Phyllis and Demophoon
- Paul Cézanne – Paul Alexis reading a manuscript to Émile Zola (1869–70; São Paulo Museum of Art)
- Edgar Degas – Count Lepic and His Daughters
- Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouÿ – Demosthenes Practicing Oratory (Démosthène s'exerçant à la parole)
- Henri Fantin-Latour – A Studio in the Batignolles (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)
- Anselm Feuerbach – The Judgement of Paris (c. 1869–70)
- Mariano Fortuny – The Spanish Wedding (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya)
- Jean-Léon Gérôme – Moorish Bath
- Arthur Hughes – You Cannot Barre Love Oute
- Jean-Paul Laurens – Pope Formosus and Stephen VI (Le Pape Formose et Étienne VII)
- Édouard Manet
- John Everett Millais – The Boyhood of Raleigh (Tate Britain, London)
- Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- Dante Gabriel Rossetti
- Dmitri Sinodi-Popov – An Old Greek
- James Tissot
- Raja Ravi Varma – Shakuntala
- Grand Prix de Rome, painting:
- Grand Prix de Rome, sculpture:
- Grand Prix de Rome, architecture: Albert-Félix-Théophile Thomas.
- Grand Prix de Rome, music: Charles Edouard Lefebvre & Henri Maréchal
- January 1 – Louis Vauxcelles, French Jewish art critic (died 1943)
- January 11 – Alexander Stirling Calder, American sculptor (died 1945)
- February 5 – C. E. Brock, English painter and illustrator (died 1938)
- March 13 – William Glackens, American painter (died 1938)
- June 22 – Antonio Dattilo Rubbo, Italian-born painter and art teacher (died 1955)
- July 21 – Emil Orlík, Czech-born painter and lithographer (died 1932)
- July 25 – Maxfield Parrish, American painter and illustrator (died 1966)
- November 18 – Franz Metzner, German sculptor (died 1919)
- December 23 – John Marin, American painter (died 1953)
- date unknown – Arthur Diehl, English-born landscape painter (died 1929)
- January 17 – Alexander Anderson, American illustrator (born 1775)
- January 27 – Johannes Flintoe, Danish-Norwegian painter of Norwegian landscapes (born 1787)
- February 21 – Robert Jefferson Bingham, English-born photographer (born 1824 or 1825)
- March 19 – William Egley, English miniature painter (born 1798)
- April 25 – Daniel Maclise, Irish-born painter (born 1806)
- May 17 – David Octavius Hill, Scottish painter and pioneer photographer (born 1802)
- July 13 – Christian Albrecht Jensen, Danish painter (born 1792)
- August 25 – Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, English francophile art collector (born 1800)
- November 7 – Cornelia Aletta van Hulst, Dutch painter (born 1797)
- November 28 – Frédéric Bazille, French Impressionist painter (born 1841) (killed in action)
- December 9
- December 12 – Martin Cregan, Irish portrait painter (born 1788)
- Undated – Achille Leonardi, Italian genre painter (born 1800)
- Cox, Michael, ed. (2004). The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860634-6.