An important part of using images in your academic work is attributing credit. Each image should include a caption, formatted according to MLA style guide rules.
The MLA provides guidelines on incorporating figures to illustrate your work
Image citations can be confusing at times, so just keep in mind:
The citation of an original work of visual art differs from the citation of an image/reproduction from a secondary source, such as a book or a website.
You may not always be able to find each source detail mentioned in the format guidelines. Just do your best to provide as much information as possible in your citations.
Image Captions (for images within a paper or powerpoint presentation)
Captions appear below the image and typically begin with the abbreviation for Figure (Fig.), then followed by assigned Arabic numerals and a brief description. An entry in the works-cited list is not necessary if an image caption provides complete information about the source, and it is the only time the source is referenced in the text.
Fig. 1. Monet, Claude. Flower Beds at Vétheuil. 1881. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Collections. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 29 October 2015. Web. <http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/flower-beds-at-vétheuil-31803>
An Image/Reproduction of a Work of Visual Art from the Web
To cite an image/reproduction of a work of visual art from the Web, follow this format:
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.
<URL in angle brackets>
Amelia Earhart, Head-and-Shoulders Portrait, Full Face. n.d. Prints and Photographs Division,
Library of Congress. America’s Library. Web. 12 Nov. 2009.
An Image/Reproduction of a Work of Visual Art from a Print Source
To cite an image/reproduction of a work of visual art from a print source, follow this format:
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.
Eakins, Thomas. Spinning. 1881. Private collection. Thomas Eakins. Ed. Darrel Sewell.
Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art in assn. with Yale UP, 2001. Plate 91. Print.
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.
Citing an Original Work of Art
To cite an original work of visual art (a lithograph, painting, photograph, sculpture, etc.) in an institution such as a museum or in a private collection, follow this format:
Artist’s last name, first name. Title of artwork. Year. Medium.
Name of institution/private collection housing artwork, city where institution/private collection is located.
Evans, Walker. Penny Picture Display. 1936. Photograph. Museum of Mod. Art, New York.