How to Cite a Painting in MLA Format

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Paintings, sculptures and other forms of artwork can sometimes be difficult to cite in Modern Language Association (MLA) format. In order to correctly cite a painting in MLA format, you must have the artist's name, title of the painting, date painted, owner (museum, repository, individual, etc.), city or country of origin, the painting's dimensions, its medium and materials used. In addition, if the painting was found in a book, the author, title, publisher, date published and the page number where the painting was found is required. If you found the painting online, you need to include the website as well as the date you found the painting.

Painting Found in a Book

  • Type the artist's last name, a comma, the artist's first name and a period.

  • Type the title of the painting underlined, a period, the year the painting was created and period.

  • Type the painting's owner/museum's name and a period.

  • Type the name of the book where the painting was found underlined, a period, "By," the author of the book's first name, last name and a period.

  • Type the city where the book was published, a semi colon, the name of the publisher, a comma, the year the book was published, a period and the page where the painting can be found in the book.

  • For example, the citation should look like this: Smith, Susie. The Cat's Meow. 2000. Cincinnati Art Museum. The Big Book of Art. By Fred J. Jones. Orlando: Penguin Publishing, 2005. 227.

Painting Found Online

  • Type the artist's last name, a comma, the artist's first name and a period.

  • Type the title of the painting underlined, a period, the year the painting was created and period.

  • Type the painting's owner/museum's name, a comma, the city where the painting is located and a period.

  • Type "Accessed," the date the painting was accessed (for example, 3 Jan.), a period, the year the painting was accessed and a period.

  • Type the website where the painting was accessed.

  • For example, the citation should look like this: Smith, Susie. The Cat's Meow. 2000. Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati. Accessed 3 Jan. 2009. www.cincinnatiartmuesuem.com

Painting Found Firsthand

  • Type the artist's last name, a comma, the artist's first name and a period.

  • Type the title of the painting underlined, a period, the year the painting was created and period.

  • Type the painting's owner/museum's name, a comma, the city where the painting is located and a period.

  • For example, the citation should look like this: Smith, Susie. The Cat's Meow. 2000. Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati.

References

  • Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images
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