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Art & Art History : MLA - Images

A delightful guide to Art and Art History research and resources available at the Cañada College library.

General Guidelines

General Example for an image/photograph on a website or database that doesn’t exist outside the site.

General Guidelines

  1. Author/Creator. If not available skip to #2.
  2. Title of image in quotations. If not available or if image doesn’t have a title, create a brief descriptive title. (Photograph of horse running. Drawing of brain.) .
  3. Name of website, italicized, the image was found on
  4. Names of any other contributors responsible for the image. If there are none leave this blank.
  5. Date of image. If not available, write "n.d." for "no date.
  6. If the image is online, provide the link. 


Creator's Last Name, Author First Name. "Title of Image." Name of Website. Date, URL.

Images from the Web

How do you cite a Google image?  Simple. You do not. 

Google Images is a search for images.  The search does not own images.  Care must be taken to find the original owner of the image. In Google Images, there is a link to the right of the image that says "Visit Page."  Sometimes this link goes to a page that does not identify origination, creator, name or owner of image.  If there isn't enough information to cite an image, locate a more credible image. 

More simply, trying to cite an image found on Google Images is the same as citing a Google for a website located using the Google search. Google finds items but does not own, have authority, create or hold the resource.  It simply finds them unless the URL contains or is affiliated clearly with Google.

Have an image that needs identification? The reverse image search on sometimes helps find an original owner of an image.  There are often many to sort through. Use criteria used to locate credible internet information to narrow down leads to original source.

The best strategy is to find and use credible images with licenses that allow their use. Image sites to use instead of Google Images:

  1. Search FLICKR using Creative Commons license to suit your project.
  2. Search Creative Commons. Select "modify, adapt, or build upon."
  3. Search Wikimedia Commons
  4. Search ARTstor for high quality images. ARTstor also includes the citation for these images!

Flickr Image


Gentry, Nick. "Next Generation." Flickr. 2010

Examples of Citations for Images

Examples of Citations for Images

Work of Art Viewed in Person at a Museum

Evans, Walker. Penny Picture Display. 1936. Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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

Citation includes: Artist. Title of Work. Date of Work. Museum, City where Museum is located.

Image from ARTstor

Renoir, Pierre Auguste. "Luncheon of the Boating Party. 1880-81". ARTstor,

See a color coded pictorial example of an ARTstor image citation on the main MLA citation page.

Image from any Library Database

"Stonewall Inn 50th Anniversary Of Riots In New York." UPI Photo Collection, 2019. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, Accessed 14 Sept. 2021.

Image Found Free on the Web

Kahlo, Frieda. Frieda and Diego Rivera. 1913. SFMOMA,

Citation includes: Artist. Title of Work. Date of Work. Database/Web Site