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Visual Resources: Image Citation

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Chicago Manual of Style » 

Online access to the full content of the 16th and 15th editions of the Chicago Manual of Style. Tools include manuscripts preparation, proofreading, and the Chicago-Style citation quick guide.

Image Citation

Citing Images

Images must be cited like all other resources. If you use an image you did not create, you must provide a citation. Images should be cited in all cases, even if the image is very small, or in the public domain. The citation should be accessible in the context of the image's use (within a Powerpoint presentation, on a web page, in a paper, etc.).

 

Image citations should include the following information at a minimum:

  • Title
  • Creator name
  • Repository information (museum, library, or other owning institution)
  • Image source (database, website, book, postcard, vendor, etc.)
  • Date accessed

 

It is also useful to include date, culture, and rights information, if known. Citations can be formatted according to the citation style you are using.

Image Sources

Remember...

The citation of an original work of art differs from the citation of a reproduction (photograph or scan) from a secondary source, such as a book or a website. If you visited the California State Library in Sacramento to view a historical photograph, then you had access to an Original Work of Visual Art, but not if you gained access to that photograph online. Similarly, if you went to a museum sculpture garden to study an artwork, you could include a photograph you took of the work in a research paper cited as Original Work of Art--but not if you used a photograph provided by the museum. The person, or institutions responsible for creating Reproductions, such as photographs or digital scans of artworks, have ownership of copyright over the reproduction and must be given credit in your citation.

 

An Original Work of Art

Citing an original work of art in your research means that you had access to the material work in order to study it--rather than using a book, or website. 

  • MLA 

Artist’s last name, first name. Title of artwork. Year. Medium. Name of institution/collection housing artwork, city where institution/private collection is located.

Example: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn. Aristotle with a Bust of Homer. 1653. Oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

  • APA

Artist's last name, first name, artist’s role (in parentheses i.e. Artist, Architect). Date (in parentheses). Title, the work type [in brackets i.e. Painting, Cathedral]. Country of origin or city, and state: and repository.  

Example: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn (Artist). (1653). Aristotle with a Bust of Homer [Painting]. New York, New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • Chicago 

Artist's first name, last name. Title. Date, medium, dimensions. Repository.   

Example: Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn. Aristotle with a Bust of Homer. 1653. Oil on canvas. 143.5 cm × 136.5 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

A Reproduction of a Work of Art in Print

Citing the reproduction of a work of art in print simply means that you had access to work of art through a print resource, such as a book, magazine, or brochure. If you scan an image from a book or magazine in order to include it in your paper, you still must cite the print resource you used to gain access to the artwork.

  • MLA

Artist’s last name, first name. Title of artwork. Year. Name of institution/private collection housing artwork. Title of print source. Author/editor’s first name last name. Publication city: Publisher, year. Page/plate number. Medium of reproduction.

Example: ​Kahlo, Frida. The Two Fridas. 1939. Museo de Art Moderno, Mexico City. Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective. 12th ed. Ed. Fred S. Kleiner, Christin J. Mamiya. Vol. 2. Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth, 2006. 774. Print.

  • APA

Artist's last name, first name, artist’s role (in parentheses i.e. Artist). Date (in parentheses). Title, the work type [in brackets i.e. Painting].Country of origin or city, and state, and repository. Reprinted from, Book Title (page number), by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Surname, Year, Place of Publication: Publisher. Copyright [Year] by Copyright Holder.

Example: Kahlo, Frida (Artist). (1939). The Two Fridas [Painting]. Mexico City: Museo de Art Moderno. Reprinted from Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective Twelfth Edition (p 774). F. Kleiner, C. Mamiya (Ed.). 2001, Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth. Copyright 2006 by Art Resource. 

  • Chicago

Artist's first name, last name. Title. Date, medium, dimensions. Repository.  Author's first name, last name. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication. Page or Plate Number.

Example: Kahlo, Frida. The Two Fridas. 1939, Oil on canvas, 203.2 x 91.4 cm. Museo de Art Moderno, Mexico City. From: F. Kleiner, C. Mamiya (Ed.). Gardner's Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Twelfth Edition. Belmont: Thomas Wadsworth, 2001. Plate 64.

A Reproduction of a Work of Art accessed Online

Citing the reproduction of a work of art in print simply means that you had access to work of art through an online, such as a webpage or database. If you copy or download an image accessed online in order to include it in your paper, you still must cite the web resource you used to gain access to the artwork.

  • MLA

Artist’s last name, first name. Title of artwork. Year. Name of institution/private collection housing artwork. Title of database or website. Publisher/sponsor of database or website. Medium consulted. Date of access.

​Example: Braun, Adolphe. Flower Study, Rose of Sharon. 1854. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 2 June 2011.

  • APA

Artist's last name, first name, artist’s role (in parentheses i.e. Artist). Date (in parentheses). Title, the work type [in brackets i.e. Painting].Country of origin or city, and state, and repository. Retrieved from, Name of the database.

Example: Rousseau, Henri (Artist). (1896). The ship in the storm [Painting]. Musee de l’Orangerie, Paris. Retrieved from Grove Art Online database

  • Chicago

Artist's first name, last name. Title. Date, medium, dimensions. Repository.  Available from, Name of the database, web address (date of access in parantheses).

Example: Rogier van der Weyden, Saint Catherine of Alexandria. 1430-1432, Diptych panel, 18.5 x 12 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria. Available from: ARTstor, http://www.artstor.org (accessed September 30. 2009).

Do I need to include the URL?

URLs are now an optional component of a citation, but it is still recommended to include this information if the reader will not be able to locate a resource without it, or it is part of an instructor’s requirements.

When providing a URL, enclose the complete address in angle brackets following the date of access, period, and a space. End the entire entry with a period after the closing angle bracket:

Example: Cloix, Emmanuel. BROUSSAI 2 visu. 2007. Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 1 June 2011. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BROUSSAI_2_visu.jpg>