About Citing Works of Art
When citing an image or piece of art, note the artist's name, the title of the piece of art, the date of composition, and the institution that houses it.
For reproductions of art, include the publication information for the source where it appears.
For each type of source in this guide, both the general form and a specific example will be provided.
The following format will be used:
Parenthetical Citation - entry that appears in the body of your paper.
Works Cited - entry that appears at the end of your paper.
Information on citing and several of the examples were drawn from the MLA Handbook (7th ed.).
Numbers in parentheses refer to specific pages in the manual.
Citing Images: Basiic Guidelines
Tips for citing a work of art, including a painting, a sculpture, a lithograph, a photograph, or other similar work:
These are the guidelines to follow when you are referencing a piece of art that you viewed "in person."
1. Artist's last name, artist's first name. If the artist is unknown (as might be the case with a traditional work of art or with a historical artifact from a museum), simply begin your citation with the title.
2. Title of work (in italics). If there is no title, provide a brief description of the item, enclosed in square brackets.
3. Date of composition (if the date is unknown, use the abbreviation n.d.; if the date is uncertain, use c. for circa, as in the first example below)
4. Medium of composition (Lithograph, Bronze, Oil on canvas, Graphite on paper, Photograph)
5. Name of the museum or other institution that houses the work. If the work is in a private collection, use "Collection of. . . ." If the collector is unknown, or prefers to remain anonymous, use Private Collection.
6. Provide the name of the city where the institution or collection is located, if applicable. If the collector is anonymous, do not include a city name
Learn more about the Modern Language Association style from the association website.
A clearly organized and well presented document offering details on various levels of MLA citation style.
An alternative to College of the Rockies Library MLA Citation Style Guide
The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University offers an online resource which can be used in some cases. However, it does not include everything required for citing sources in one place.
The MLA Style does not cover Canadian government sources, and has only a limited section on American government resources.
Please refer to the staff at the Library Reference Desk for clarification when citing Canadian government sources.
Librarians at SFU have created what is considered the definitive resource for use when citing Canadian Government documents and online resources in MLA Style.