• 3-minute read
  • 22nd April 2020

How to Cite an Image in Chicago Author–Date Referencing

How do you cite an image in an essay? This depends on a few factors! In this post, though, we look at how to cite an image in Chicago author-date referencing. This will include citing an image mentioned in the text and reproducing an image published elsewhere.

How to Cite an Image in Chicago Author–Date Referencing

First, we’ll look at mentioning an image in the text of an essay. To do this, you can simply add a parenthetical citation. The only difference here from a regular citation is that you may want to include a figure number:

We see this in the first illustration (Smith, Ramirez, and Kelly 2019, 17, fig. 1).

Here, we’re citing figure 1 from page 17 of a source by Smith, Ramirez and Kelly. We would then add the full source information in the reference list.

For a standalone work from a collection or gallery, you may be able to simply mention the title and creator of the artwork in the text. If you need to include a full citation, though, you can cite the creator and year of creation:

The painting depicts a man with a hangover (Hogarth 1760).

As above, we would then provide full source information in the reference list.

Reproducing an Image in an Essay

When reproducing an image in an essay, while you could provide a citation, you can put source information in a caption instead. This would look like this:

Chicago Referencing Caption Citation
Remember, though, that images may be copyrighted! This won’t be a problem in an essay, since educational uses are usually exempt from copyright. But it will apply if you’re writing something that you intend to publish!

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How to List an Image in a Chicago Reference List

To add an image to a Chicago reference list, the format depends on where you found it. For published images, you will reference the container volume (i.e. the publication in which the image appeared). This could be a book, journal article, or website. With a book, for instance, the entry would look like this:

Smith, Timothy, David Ramirez, and Brianna Kelly. 2019. The Origins of Perspective. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

For a standalone image, meanwhile, the reference list format would be:

Artist Surname, First Name. Date of creation. Title of Work. Medium, other details (if known). Location, URL (if applicable).

As such, we would list Hogarth’s painting in the reference list like this:

Hogarth, William. 1760. Francis Matthew Schutz in His Bed. Oil on canvas, 63 × 75.5 cm. Norwich Castle, Norwich, https://artuk.org/discover/stories/william-hogarths-francis-matthew-schutz-in-his-bed.

We hope this has helped you with citing an image using Chicago author–date referencing. And if you’d like an academic proofreading expert to check your work, why not submit a document today?

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