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Citation Guide- MLA: Citing Artworks

Essential information to become a successful "citer"

Painting, Sculpture, Photograph

Provide the artist's name, the title of the artwork in italics, and the date of composition. Finally, provide the name of the institution that houses the artwork followed by the location of the institution (if the location is not listed in the name of the institution, e.g. The Art Institute of Chicago).

 

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800, Museo del Prado, Madrid.

 

If the medium and/or materials (e.g., oil on canvas) are important to the reference, you can include this information at the end of the entry. However, it is not required.

 

For photographic reproductions of artwork (e.g. images of artwork in a book), treat the book or website as a container. Remember that for a second container, the title is listed first, before the contributors. Cite the bibliographic information as above followed by the information for the source in which the photograph appears, including page or reference numbers (plate, figure, etc.).

 

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800, Museo del Prado, Madrid. Gardener's Art Through the Ages, 10th ed., by Richard G. Tansey and Fred S. Kleiner, Harcourt Brace, p. 939.

 

If you viewed the artwork on the museum's website, treat the name of the website as the container (i.e., the "book"), and include the website's publisher and the URL at the end of the citation. Omit publisher information if it is the same as the name of the website. Note the period after the date below, rather than the comma: this is because the date refers to the painting's orginal creation, rather than to its publication on the website. Thus, MLA format considers it an "optional element."

 

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Museo del Prado, museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-family-of-carlos-iv/f47898fc-aa1c-48f6-a779-71759e417e74.

Examples

Fig. 1. Da Vinci, Leonardo. Last Supper. 1498, Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan. "The Last Supper," by Harris, Beth and Steven Zucker, Khan Academy, 2015, www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/early-europe-and-colonial-americas/renaissance-art-europe-ap/a/leonardo-last-supper. Accessed 14 July 2018.

Artwork - from a Book

When you refer to a photographic reproduction of an artwork, the citation is made up of two parts:

  • Part 1: Lists the original artist's name, the name of the work, and the date the work was created. 
  • Part 2: Cites where you found the reproduction of the work such as a book. The example below is for an image taken from a book with a single author. For more information on how to cite books, look at the How do I Cite: Books section of this site. 

Artist's Last Name, First Name. Title of Work: Subtitle if Any. Year, Location of Work. Book Title, by Author's Last Name, First Name, Publisher Name often shortened, Year of publication, p. number.

Works Cited List Example  

 Da Vinci, Leonardo. Last Supper. 1498, Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan. Great Paintings of the Western World, by Gallup, Alison, et al., Barnes & Noble, 1998, p. 223. 

In-Text Citation Example

 (Author's Last Name Page Number)

 Example: (Da Vinci 223)

Artwork - Found Online

When you refer to a photographic reproduction of an artwork, the citation is made up of two parts:

  • Part 1: Lists the original artist's name, the name of the work, and the date the work was created. 
  • Part 2: Cites where you found the reproduction of the work such as a website. The example below is for an image taken from a webpage written by two authors. For more information on how to cite websites, look at the How do I Cite: Websites section of this site. 

 

If you refer to the information from the artwork but do not reproduce it in your paper, create a citation both in-text and on your Works Cited list.

Artist's Last Name, First Name. Title of Work: Subtitle if Any. Year, Location of Work. "Title of Webapge," by Author's Last Name, First Name. Title of Website, Publisher or Sponsoring Organization, Date of publication or last modified date, URL. Accessed access date

 Note: Date of access is now optional in MLA 8th edition. If no publication date is included, we recommend including the date you last accessed the site.

Works Cited List Example  

Da Vinci, Leonardo. Last Supper. 1498, Santa Maria della Grazie,      Milan. "The Last Supper," by Harris, Beth and Steven Zucker, Khan Academy,  2015,

 www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ap-art-history/early-europe-and-colonial-americas/renaissance-art-europe-ap/a/leonardo-last-supper. Accessed 14 July 2018.

In-Text Citation Example

 (Author's Last Name)

 Example: (Da Vinci)

Information on this Page taken from:

Purdue Writing Lab. “MLA Works Cited: Other Common Sources // Purdue Writing Lab.” Purdue Writing Lab, 2018, owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_other_common_sources.html.

“LibGuides: MLA Citation Guide (8th Edition): Images, Artwork, Charts, Graphs, Maps & Tables.” In-Text Citation - APA Citation Guide (6th Edition) - LibGuides at Columbia College (BC), 2018, columbiacollege-ca.libguides.com/mla/images.