How to cite an image in Chicago style
In Chicago notes and bibliography style, it’s recommended to just cite images in notes, omitting them from the bibliography. List an image in your bibliography only if you cite it frequently, if it’s essential to your argument, or if your university requires you to.
Follow the format shown below to create a note and—if necessary—a bibliography entry for an image viewed online. Make sure to cite the page where the image is hosted, not, for example, the Google search results where you found it.
|Bibliography||Author last name, First name. Image Title. Format description. Website Name. Month Day, Year. URL.
Cheng, Minder. Double-Crested Cormorant. Photograph. Flickr. March 21, 2021. https://flic.kr/p/2kQcKZ3.
|Full note||Author first name Last name, Image Title, Format description, Website Name, Month Day, Year, URL.
1. Minder Cheng, Double-Crested Cormorant, photograph, Flickr, March 21, 2021, https://flic.kr/p/2kQcKZ3.
|Short note||Author last name, Shortened Image Title.
2. Cheng, Double-Crested Cormorant.
Citing an artwork from a museum
When you viewed an artwork in person at a museum, gallery, or other location, provide information about the institution housing it. Include a URL if the museum website has a page dedicated to the artwork.
|Bibliography||Author last name, First name. Artwork Title. Year. Format description. Institution Name, City. URL.
Goya, Francisco. The Drowning Dog. 1820–23. Mixed method on mural transferred to canvas. Museo Del Prado, Madrid. https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-drowning-dog/4ea6a3d1-00ee-49ee-b423-ab1c6969bca6.
|Full note||Author first name Last name, Artwork Title, Year, Format description, Institution Name, City, URL.
1. Francisco Goya, The Drowning Dog, 1820–23, mixed method on mural transferred to canvas, Museo Del Prado, Madrid, https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/the-drowning-dog/4ea6a3d1-00ee-49ee-b423-ab1c6969bca6.
|Short note||Author last name, Shortened Artwork Title.
2. Goya, Drowning Dog.
Citing an image from a book
An image you encountered in a book, journal article, or other print source should be cited by first listing information about the image itself, then listing information about the source it was contained in, including the page number where the image can be found.
Use italics for the title an image originally created outside the context of the book or article (e.g. an artwork) and quotation marks for the title of an image original to the book or article (e.g. an infographic). Use plain text to describe an untitled image.
An example citation of an artwork from a book is shown below.
|Bibliography||Author last name, First name. Image Title. Year. In Author first name Last name, Book Title, Page number. City: Publisher, Year.
Bruegel, Pieter, the Elder. Christ Carrying the Cross. 1564. In Rose-Marie Hagen and Rainer Hagen, Bruegel, 24. Cologne: Taschen, 2019.
|Full note||Author first name Last name, Image Title, Year, in Author first name last name, Book Title (City: Publisher, Year), Page number.
1. Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Christ Carrying the Cross, 1564, in Rose-Marie Hagen and Rainer Hagen, Bruegel (Cologne: Taschen, 2019), 24.
|Short note||Author last name, Shortened Image Title, Page number.
2. Bruegel, Christ Carrying the Cross, 24.
Image citations in Chicago author-date style
In Chicago author-date style, an in-text citation for an image consists of the author’s last name and the year the image was created.
These citations correspond to entries in your reference list. Reference list entries are similar to bibliography entries, except that the year comes immediately after the author’s name.
|Format||Author last name, First name. Year. Image Title. Month Day, Year. Format description. Website Name. URL.|
|Reference list||Cheng, Minder. 2021. Double-Crested Cormorant. Photograph. Flickr. March 21, 2021. https://flic.kr/p/2kQcKZ3.|
|In-text citation||(Cheng 2021)|
|Format||Author last name, First name. Year. Artwork Title. Format description. Institution Name, City.|
|Reference list||Goya, Francisco. 1820–23. The Drowning Dog. Mixed method on mural transferred to canvas. Museo Del Prado, Madrid.|
|In-text citation||(Goya 1820–23)|
Frequently asked questions about Chicago style citations
- How do I include an image in my paper in Chicago style?
In Chicago style, when you don’t just refer to an image but actually include it in your paper, the image should be formatted as a figure. Place the figure before or after the first paragraph where it is mentioned. Refer to figures by their numbers in the text (e.g. “see fig. 1”).
Below the figure, place a caption providing the figure number followed by a period (e.g. “Figure 1.”), a reference to the source (if you didn’t create the image yourself), and any relevant information to help the reader understand the image (if needed).
The caption is single-spaced and left-aligned, and followed by a blank line before the continuation of the main text.
- How do I cite a source with no date in Chicago style?
- Should I use short notes or full notes for my Chicago citations?
However, your institution’s guidelines may differ from the standard rule. In some fields, you’re required to use a full note every time, whereas in some other fields you can use short notes every time, as long as all sources are listed in your bibliography. If you’re not sure, check with your instructor.