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Rhode Island School of Design

Image Captions - How to cite an image: Create an Image Caption

A guide to creating an image caption using MLA or Art Bulletin style

MLA Style

MLA Caption Style
When citing an image, the caption should be labeled as Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.), assigned an Arabic numeral, and given a title or caption.

For photos of artwork, include the book's publication information of the text in which the image appears.

A label and title or caption ordinarily appear directly below the illustration and have the same one-inch margins as the text of the paper.

Captions should be numbered consecutively

Fig. 1. Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, Wichita Art Museum. Illus. in Novelene Ross, Toward an American Identity: Selections from the Wichita Art Museum Collection of American Art (Wichita, Kansas: Wichita Art Museum, 1997) 107.

Source: Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 7th ed.
New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009.

Additional Sources

EasyBib MLA Citing an Artwork

Image citation examples from ARTstor

Art Bulletin Style

Art Bulletin Caption Style
The College Art Association's AB style is a modification of the Chicago Manual of Style. Captions should be numbered consecutively. Figure numbers do not include a period. A full caption includes, whenever available and appropriate, information in the following order:

Figure number with no period
Artist (first name, last name)
Title (in italics)
Medium on support
Dimensions in inches (h. x w. x d.) followed by dimensions in centimeters (1 inch = 2.54 cm)
Name of collection
City of collection
Other collection information such as "gift of . . . ," accession number, etc.
Copyright or credit line information regarding both the photograph and the artwork (in parentheses)

1 Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, ca 1890, Oil on canvas, 35 ½ x 25 3/8” (90.1 x 64.5 cm). Wichita Art Museum, Whichita, Kansas, Roland P. Murdock Collection, M109.53 (© Wichita Art Museum 2002)

Source: CAA Submission & Style Guidelines, Preparing an Accepted Manuscript for Publication > scroll down the page to Captions

See also: CAA Educational Publishing Permissions

See also: Chicago Manual of Style Online - Illustrations and Tables