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Research Guides

EN 3414 Critical Writing and Research for Literary Studies

This guide serves as the "syllabus" for the library component of the English 3414 course.

MLA 8th Ed.


There is often confusion over how to write a citation correctly for artwork.  Use this guide to help cite images in the MLA 8th Edition style.  You can also search their FAQ's or 'Submit a question.'  Additionally, you may want to talk with your professor on how they want the citation.



Illustrative visual material other than a table—for example, a photograph, map, drawing, graph, or chart—should be labeled Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an Arabic numeral, and given a caption:
















Fig. 1. Hans Holbein, The Ambassadors, The National Gallery, London.

The label and caption ordinarily appear directly below an illustration and have the same one-inch margins as the text of the paper.

MLA Artwork & Image Citation

A Painting, Sculpture, or Photograph:

An item that you see in person will have this information in the citation: 

  • Artist's name (last, first)
  • Title of the artwork in italics
  • Date of creation
  • Name of the institution that houses the artwork followed by the location of the institution - if the institutions location is not in its name.

Van Gogh, Vincent. The Starry Night. 1889, Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Photographic Reproductions of Artwork:

These are images that you can find in a book. Begin the citation just like you would for the original artwork, but also cite the bibliographic information for the source in which the photograph appears, including page or reference numbers (plate, figure, etc.).



Van Gogh, Vincent. Night Café. 1889, Yale University Gallery, New Haven. Gardener's Art Through the Ages v. II, 13 ed., by Fred S. Kleiner, Wardsworth, 1994, p. 666.


Journal Article:

Cox, George C. "Walt Whitman, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right, wearing hat." 1887, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.  By Christian Winman, Atlantic, vol. 298, no. 5, Dec. 2006, p. 75.


Book with an Illustrator:


Reproduced with Permission to use from Pete the Cat, LLC 

Litwin, Eric. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. Illustrated by James Dean, HarperCollins, 2010.





"MLA Works Cited: Other Common Sources." Purdue Online Writing Lab, 23 Aug. 2018,

MLA Images from the Web

Locate as much information as possible for digital images, found on the Internet. If the digital image does not have a title, include a description of the image. 

  • The name of the creator of the digital image
  • The title of the digital image (if a date is in parentheses as part of the title, include that as well).
  • The title of the website that the image was found on
  • The date the image was created or published
  • The location of the image, such as a URL

Format for image found on the Internet:

Creator’s Last name, First name. “Title of the digital image.”  Publication Date , title of website, Web address. Accessed date found.


Essanay Studios. “Advertisement in The Moving Picture World for the American Comedy Film Police (1916).” Wikimedia Commons,  Accessed 31 Oct. 2018.

MLA 8th Ed. Artwork Image from a Database



Last Name, First Name (Image creator, if available). Title of Image (Photograph - use quotation marks instead of italics). Work date (if available). Image format (Photograph). Name of individual or institution which owns image (if available), Institution, Location. Library Database. Web. Date retrieved.



Delacroix, Eugène. Liberty Leading the People (July 28, 1830), oil on canvas. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France. Artstor,