|Covid-19|February 20 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens in New York City.
June – American-born painter James McNeill Whistler exhibits Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist's Mother, painted the previous year, at the 104th Royal Academy summer exhibition in London after the curator Sir William Boxall threatens to resign from the R.A. if it is rejected.
November 13 (07:35) (probable date) – Claude Monet begins painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant) as viewed from his hotel room at Le Havre.
November – Edward Lear acquires his cat Foss.
William De Morgan sets up an art pottery in Chelsea, London.
The first "Wallace fountains", to the design of sculptor Charles-Auguste Lebourg, are installed in Paris.
Peter Nicolai Arbo – Asgårdsreien
Caspar Buberl – Fulton Memorial (New York City)
Pierre Puvis de Chavannes
The White Rocks
Gustave Doré – illustrations to London: A Pilgrimage (published)
Frank Duveneck – The Whistling Boy (Cincinnati Art Museum)
William Powell Frith – The Fair Toxophilites
John Gast – American Progress
Jean-Léon Gérôme – Pollice Verso ("Thumbs Down")
Christ in the Desert
Old Man with a crutch
Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)
Berthe Morisot with a Fan (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)
Berthe Morisot (Private collection)
Le chemin de fer ("The Railroad") (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.)
Racecourse in the Bois de Boulogne (Private collection)
Thomas Moran – The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (first version)
The Cradle (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)
On the Balcony
Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky
Portrait of Vladimir Dal
Illarion Pryanishnikov – Empties
Claude Monet Reading
Parisian Women in Algerian Costume (The Harem)
Dante Gabriel Rossetti – Beata Beatrix (replica, commissioned by William Graham)
Bridge at Villeneuve-la-Garonne
Footbridge at Argenteuil
James Tissot – Bad News
Wilhelm Trübner – Auf dem Kanapee ("On the Sofa") (Nationalgalerie, Berlin)
Frederick Walker – The Harbour of Refuge
James McNeill Whistler – Arrangement in Gray: Portrait of the Painter
Mårten Eskil Winge – Thor's Fight with the Giants
January 16 – Edward Gordon Craig, English theatrical designer (died 1966)
February 25 – Alice Bailly Swiss painter and multimedia artist (died 1938)
March 7 – Piet Mondrian, Dutch painter (died 1944)
April 18 – Beta Vukanović, Serbian painter and centenarian (died 1972)
August 21 – Aubrey Beardsley, English painter and illustrator (died 1898)
April 2 – Samuel F. B. Morse, American inventor and painter of portraits and historic scenes (born 1791)
April 10 – John Mix Stanley, American painter (born 1814)
May 24 – Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, German painter (born 1794)
August 8 – Eduard Magnus, German painter (born 1799)
September 30 - Jakob Alt, German landscape painter (born 1789)
October 29 – Thomas Combe, English printer and patron of the arts (born 1796)
November 5 – Thomas Sully, English-born American portrait painter (born 1783)
November 25 - John Partridge, British artist and portrait painter (born 1789)
December 23 – George Catlin, American painter who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the Old West (born 1796)
1872 in art Wikipedia
Events from the year 1872 in art.