Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

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 BING.  They have a search that filters by license.
3- Search Creative Commons. Select "modify, adapt, or build upon."
4- Search Wikimedia Commons.
5- Search United States Government sites.  Many items are public domain and free to use.

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. Photograph. Museum of Modern Art, 

      New York.

Goya, Francisco. The Family of Charles IV. 1800. Oil on Canvas. Museo del Prado, 


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

Image from ARTstor

Cassatt, Mary. The Boating Party. 1893-1894. National Gallery of Art, Washington,

         D.C. ARTstor. Web. 12 Sept. 2009. <>.

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

Image from any Library Database

Rousseau, Henri. The Ship in the Storm. 1896.  Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris.

         Grove Art Online. Web. 22 Nov. 2006.

Image found free on the Web

Rousseau, Henri. The Ship in the Storm. 1896.  Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris.

         The Artchive. Web. 8 Aug. 2006.

Citation includes: Artist. Title of Work. Date of Work. Museum or Collection, City. Database/Web Site. Date Accessed. URL (optional).

Image reproduced in a printed source

Rousseau, Henri. The Ship in the Storm. 1896. Musee de l'Orangerie, Paris.

Henri Rousseau: Jungles in Paris. By Claire Fresches, et al. Washington:

National Gallery of Art, 2006. 232. Print.

If known, the collection which owns the image should be included in your citation along with its location as shown in the examples.