How to Cite a Painting for a Research Paper : Citing Tips for Writers
How to Cite a Painting
When writing a research paper, you must cite the sources where you find information, as that is legally and ethically what you are required to do. When you cite a source, you give credit for the information you find, usually in books and articles. However, sometimes, you will need to cite sources besides books and articles, such as paintings. For example, you might need to cite a painting if you are writing a paper on art or history. The information below will help you cite a painting in three of the major styles, the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, American Psychological Association (APA) style, and Chicago style.
Citing a Painting in MLA Style
Write the last name of the artist.Begin with the last name of the artist, followed by a comma and the first name. For example:
- “Lukas, Joe.”
Include the title of the painting.Use a period, and then add the name of the painting in italics. Next, add the date. If the date is not known, use the abbreviation “n.d.” instead. After the date, write the medium. The medium could include anything from oil or watercolor on canvas to mixed media on wood. Usually, it includes what was used to make the art and what the art was made on.
- “Lukas, Joe.Lovely Flowers.2011. Acrylic on canvas.” Only use the year.
Write down information about where the painting is displayed.After writing the medium down, write the museum where the painting is displayed. You should also include where the museum is located. Use a comma, followed by the city and state with a comma in between. End with a period to complete your reference-page citation:
- “Lukas, Joe.Lovely Flowers.2011. Acrylic on canvas. The Museum of Flowers and Fauna, Topeka, Kansas.”
Follow other basic organization rules.Alphabetize your sources by the artist’s last name. If the painting is not in a museum, list its location if it has a formal name. You can also list something like “private collection.”
Create an in-text citation.For an in-text citation, just use the artist’s name. At the end of the sentence where you are citing the painting, place the author’s name in parenthesis before the period:
- “Reds are especially bright in floral paintings likeLovely Flowers(Lukas).”
Citing a Painting in APA
Use the artist’s last name and first initial to begin your citation.For a reference-page citation, use the artist’s last name first, followed by the initials for the first or first and middle names. For example:
- “Lukas, J.”
Place the year in parenthesis:“Lukas, J. (2011).” Use a period after the date. Follow that with the title of the painting, and the genre in brackets. Use a period after the brackets. For example:
- “Lukas, J. (2011).Lovely Flowers[Painting].”
Write the city and state next, followed by a colon.After the colon, add the name of the museum where the painting is located, followed by a period. Alphabetize your reference page entries by the artist’s last name.
- “Lukas, J. (2011).Lovely Flowers[Painting]. Topeka, KS: The Museum of Flowers and Fauna.”
Create an in-text citation.For an in-text citation, use the artist’s last name and the date at the end of the sentence: “Reds are especially bright in floral paintings like Lovely Flowers (Lukas, 2011).”
- Use a comma between the artist and date. You can also use the name (out of parenthesis) and date (in parenthesis) at the beginning of the sentence: “Lukas’ (2011) painting Lovely Flowers makes nice use of reds.”
Citing a Painting in Chicago Style
Write down the artist’s full name.For a reference-page citation, use the artist’s last name first, followed by a comma and his or her first name: “Lukas, Joe.”
Place the name of the painting in italics.Follow it with a comma and then write down the year that the painting was created, followed by another comma. For example:
- “Lukas, Joe. Lovely Flowers, 2011,”
Include the name of the museum where the painting is displayed.After the name of the museum, write down where the museum is located. Include the city and the state. Alphabetize your reference page by the artist’s last name.
- “Lukas, Joe. Lovely Flowers, 2011, The Museum of Flora and Fauna, Topeka, Kansas.”
Add in-text citations.For an in-text citation, insert a footnote at the end of the sentence you want to cite. It will create a superscript number with a corresponding number at the bottom of the page. Click in the footnote to start typing. Your in-text citation will look very similar to your reference page citation:
- “Joe Lukas, Lovely Flowers, 2011, The Museum of Flora and Fauna, Topeka, Kansas.” Basically, you switch the name around and use a comma after it instead of a period.
How do you cite a painting found from a website?
Video: How to Cite Classical Art in APA : Citing Tips for Writers
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