While working on research in history or literature, you may need to integrate pictures in your work. At this point, you should know how to cite an image in Chicago style properly. What information do you need to complete a citation? How to go about a reference list? If you're unfamiliar with Chicago style image citation, you may have a lot of questions about how to properly cite visual sources in your study. While Chicago style is less commonly used than APA format, it is still frequently required by many universities and research institutions.
In this blog, you will get all your answers and learn how to work with an image or photo in Chicago style. Here you can find ready-to-use templates for different types of visuals you may refer to in your academic paper. Just follow the formatting we prepared for you!
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Chicago Image Citation: General Format & Examples
If you are familiar with writing a research paper in the Chicago style, you already know that you may use two types of citations:
Footnote method:involves using superscript numbers in your text to indicate a citation, which is then listed at the bottom of the page in Chicago style footnotes. Author-date style:requires citing sources in parentheses within the text, including the author's last name and publication year.
In the Chicago notes-and-bibliography system, it is recommended to refer to the image only in notes and not include this citation in your reference list. However, you need to mention this picture or photo in a bibliography if it is significant for your research (for example, the whole work is about this image or if your university requires it). Let’s learn how to make it properly.
To cite images in Chicago style paper, you need to identify the creator’s name, image title, date of creation, and source of this image. Arrange this information based on formatting rules from the Chicago manual.
Look at the general format for citing an image in Chicago style for the first option with full and short notes.
Creator’s Last Name, First Name. Image Title. Format. Source Name. Date (Month, Day, Year). URL (if applicable).
Creator’s First and Last Name, Image Title, format, Source Name, Month Day, Year, URL.
Creator’s Last Name, Image Title (short version).
The basic structure for full and short notes and a bibliography is relatively easy and straightforward. Let’s cite an image in Chicago to look at how to apply this format.
Castka, Jiri. Nutria Was First Introduced to the US in 1899. Photograph. New Scientist. April 14, 2023.
1. Jiri Castka, Nutria Was First Introduced to the US in 1899, photograph, New Scientist, April 14, 2023,
2. Castka, Nutria in the US
This short citation refers to your reference list, which is similar to a bibliography, but the creation date will be indicated right after the author’s name. For example, this is how citing a picture in Chicago style author-date system will look in general:
Creator’s Last Name, First name. Year of Creation. Image Title. Format. Source of publication. Month Day, Year of Publication. URL (if applicable).
In practice, our author-date image citation in Chicago style will be formatted this way:
Castka, Jiri. 2023. Nutria Was First Introduced to the US in 1899. Photograph. New Scientist. April 14, 2023. https://images.newscientist.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/13220913/SEI_151800187.jpg
>> Learn more: How to Cite a Website in Chicago
How to Cite an Image From a Print Source in Chicago Style?
Let’s look more precisely at how to deal with picture citation if it was published in a hard copy. Is this type of photo citation more complicated than the citation of an online source? In fact, it is not too difficult, but you also need to integrate some details about a journal or a book where the image is displayed. Here we will discuss how to cite an image from a book or journal and what to consider in each case.
Chicago Image Citation From a Book
When you need to figure out how to cite an image in Chicago style from a book, you must also have all the book's data, including its author, book title, year and place of publication, and a page where the cited picture was reproduced.
If you are using full and short notes, here is how to cite images from a book in Chicago style.
Creator’s Second Name, First Name. Image Title. Year of Creation. In Author’s First Name Second Name, Book Title, Page number. Location of Publisher: Name of Publisher, Year of Publication.
#. Creator's First Name Second Name, Image Title, Year of Creation, in Author’s First Name Second Name, Book Title, (Location of Publisher: Name of Publisher, Year of Publication), Page number.
#. Last Name of the Creator, Image Title (abridged), Page number
If the image creator and book author is the same person, you need to mention their first and last name only once in the beginning.
Let’s look at how to cite a picture from a book in Chicago style in a real example.
Carter, Jimmy. US Soldiers in East Asia Training. 2010. In Adam Morris, The Butterfield, 226. New York: Random House, 2021.
1. Jimmy Carter, US Soldiers in East Asia Training, 2010, in Adam Morris, The Butterfield (New York: Random House, 2021), 226.
2. Carter, US Soldiers, 226.
>> Read more: How to Cite a Book in Chicago Style
Chicago Image or Picture Citation From a Journal Article
Little changes need to be made if an artwork is presented in a journal article, not a book. You need to add information about the journal volume and issue number as well as the article page where the image was found. Indicate a DOI or URL if the article is published in an online journal.
Here is the simple scheme for citing pictures from articles.
Creator’s Second Name, First Name. Image Title. Year of Creation. In Author First Name Second Name “Article Title,” Name of Journal Volume no., no. Issue (Month/Season Year): Page(s). DOI or URL
#. Creator’s First Name Second Name, Image Title, Year of Creation, in Author First Name Second Name “Article Title,” Name of Journal Volume Number, no. Issue (Month/Season Year): Page(s). DOI or URL.
#. Last Name, Image Title (abridged), page number.
Let’s look at actual examples of citing pictures in Chicago style from an article in a scientific journal.
Cane, Mary. Top 10 Terms Associated With the Highest-Scoring Fraud Topic. 2022. In James Bisbee “Election Fraud, YouTube, and Public Perception of the Legitimacy of President Biden,” Political Communication 32, no. 3. (August 2022): 235. https://tsjournal.org/index.php/jots/article/view/60
1. Mary Cane, Top 10 Terms Associated With the Highest Scoring Fraud Topic, 2022, in James Bisbee “Election Fraud, YouTube, and Public Perception of the Legitimacy of President Biden,” Political Communication 32, no. 3. (August 2022): 235. https://tsjournal.org/index.php/jots/article/view/60
2. Cane, Terms Associated with Fraud, 235.
>> Learn more: How to Cite a Journal Article Chicago
How to Cite a Work of Art in Chicago Style?
The following case for discussion is how to deal with the artworks you want to refer to in your term paper or another project. What additional information do you need to cite a work of art in Chicago style? In a nutshell, you need to provide a detailed location of a place where you saw an artwork. Here you will have two options. You may see an exact picture, sculpture, or artifact in a museum or gallery or find it online. Let’s look at templates for each case.
Citing an Artwork From a Museum or Gallery in Chicago
It is possible that you will need to refer in your research to artwork you found in a museum collection or in a gallery.
To cite artwork in Chicago style accurately, clarify its creator, title, year and institution where you saw the work.
Here is a template of a Chicago style citation for an artwork.
Last Name, First Name. Artwork Title. Year of Creation. Type of Art. Institution, City.
#. First and Last Name, Artwork Title, Year of Creation, type of art, Institution, City.
#. Last Name, Shortened Artwork Title.
Looks quite simple. Let’s look at the real example and pretend you need to cite Claude Monet's oil painting Poppies, established in Paris.
Monet, Claude. Poppies. 1873. Oil painting. Museum d’Orsay. Paris.
1. Claude Monet, Poppies, 1973, oil painting, Museum d’Orsay, Paris.
2. Monet, Poppies.
Citing an Artwork From a Museum or Gallery Website
Another possible case you may face is citing artwork from a museum website. Use an official website if you did not see the work but want to refer to it in your paper. Just add an URL to the webpage where a picture is displayed and retrieval date. Let’s clarify the template for such citations.
Last Name, First Name. Artwork Title. Year of Creation. Type of Art. Institution, City. URL
#. First and Last Name, Artwork Title, Year of Creation, type of art, Institution, City, URL
#. Last Name, Shortened Artwork Title.
For example, you need to cite another Monet work, but it is located in New York, and you only saw it on the MET museum website. Here is what this artwork citation will look like.
Monet, Claude. Poppy Fields Near Argenteuil. 1875. Oil painting. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/438004
1. Claude Monet, Poppy Fields Near Argenteuil, 1875, oil painting, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/438004
2. Monet, Poppy Fields.
Citing an Artwork From a Book in Chicago
Another discussion is how to cite artwork if you found it printed in a book. Chicago style guide clarifies this type of citation as similar to citing images from books and magazines. You need information about the publisher and a page where your artwork is located. Let’s see what the template for such a citation will look like.
Last Name, First Name. Artwork Title. Year of Creation. Type of Art. Institution, City. In Author’s First Name Second Name, Book Title, Page number. Location of Publisher: Name of Publisher, Year of Publication.
#. First and Last Name, Artwork Title, Year of Creation, type of art, Institution, City, in Author’s First Name Second Name, Book Title, (Location of Publisher: Name of Publisher, Year of Publication), Page number.
#. Last Name of the Creator, Artwork Title (abridged), Page number
Next, we will cite a printed oil painting that we found in a museum-printed book. Here is what it will look like.
Warhol, Andy. Liz. 1973. Offset lithograph. Private Collection, New York. In Jaklyn Fire Modern Art, 122. New York: Feldman & Schellmann, 2017.
1. Andy Warhol, Liz, 1973, offset lithograph, Private Collection, New York, in Jaklyn Fire Modern Art (New York: Feldman & Schellmann, 2017), 122.
2. Warhol, Liz, 122.
How to Cite Online Images in Chicago Style?
We already briefly discussed Chicago image citation from a website, but let’s clarify how we refer to no-art objects. For example, if you found a photo or picture on social media, in a blog or forum. What to include in your bibliography, full and short notes?
Chicago Image or Photo Citation From an Online Library
If you need to cite a picture from an online library, indicate the name of this library instead of the website name. In this case, you need to find the exact source and location of the picture. For instance, some news articles can use images from an open online library. And you need to cite this library, not a news page that refers to this picture.
Let’s look at the scheme of citing images from online libraries.
Creator’s Last Name, First Name. Image Title. Type of image. Library Name. Month Day, Year. URL
#. First and Last name, Image Title, type of image, Library name, Month Day, Year, URL
#. Last name. Shortened Image Title.
Let's use this formula for citing a photograph from the free online library Unsplash.
Genovese, Joey. Yale University. Photograph. Unsplash. February 6, 2021. https://unsplash.com/photos/s2M_-HGaQuA
1. Joey Genovese, Yale University, photograph, Unsplash, February 6, 2021, https://unsplash.com/photos/s2M_-HGaQuA
2. Genovese, Yale University.
Chicago Image Citation From an Image Sharing
One more tricky case you may face is how to cite an image from an image sharing website. When discussing image-sharing websites, we mean social media and open sources. It is possible you won’t know the publication date or the author. However, you need to indicate the source and include an URL in your bibliography and full note.
Here is the formula you can apply to your image citation in case of image sharing source.
Creator’s Last Name, First Name. Image Title. Date of Creation. Medium. Source. URL
#. First and Last Name, Image Title, Date of Creation, medium, Source, URL
#. Last name, Shortened Image Title.
For example, you want to cite a picture from Flickr in your project.
Portel, Julieta. Look at Me. n.d. Photograph. Flickr.
1. Julieta Portel, Look at Me, n.d., photograph, Flickr,
2. Portel, Look at Me.
Captions for Images in Chicago Style
We already discussed how to refer to any type of images you may need in your capstone paper. The next thing to look at is inserting a picture into your work. If you are writing Chicago style paper with images, add all your citation in a capture under the picture instead of including them in a footnote.
However, there are no strict rules for formatting this capture. But we outlined some advice on what to consider in your caption:
- Your caption should be right under the image.
- Start with Figure number.
- You may include a detailed explainer on the figure.
- Leave one blank line between the caption and your text.
- A caption should be single pace.
Here is the formula for creating your own captions.
Figure #. Title. Medium by Creator's First and Last Name, Year of Creation. Image Source, Location (if applicable).
Figure 1. The Archeological Expedition to Peru. Photograph by Andrew Willkok, October 2013. Global Explorer.
Bottom Line on How to Cite an Image or Photo
As you can understand from this blog, citing various types of images in Chicago style is not rocket science. However, you need to follow some rules defined by the Manual. First, you must clarify what type of citations you will use - in-text citation (author-date method) or footnote method (full, short notes, and bibliography).
Also, some minor differences exist by citing an image from a museum, museum website, or online library. You may also need to cite an image from social media, create a capture or refer to a photo without the author's name or creation date. But in this blog, you can find formulas and examples for each possible citation type in Chicago. Make your research easy with our guide!
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FAQ About Citing Images in Chicago
1. How do you cite an image from Google in Chicago?
If you need to cite an image from Google Images in Chicago, you need to ensure that you know the source of this image. Open your picture from Google and click “Visit Page.” You will get all the information needed for proper citation – author’s name, image title, and creation date. For example, your complete note can be structured like this:
Adam Smith, Creation of Galaxy, Digital Image, National Geographic, May 12, 2022, Accessed April 17, 2023, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/.
2. How do you put a picture in a research paper in Chicago?
If you need to include any picture in your research paper, create a capture and put it right under the picture. It should start with Figure #, then include the title of this image, the author who created it, and the date of creation. In the end, you may include the website, museum, book, or journal where you found this image.
3. How do you cite an image in Chicago without an author?
Citing an image without an author in Chicago style is quite simple. You just need to start with an image title or description in full note or bibliography. If you need to create a short note, start with the publisher or organization that produced this image. You must refer to an organization instead of an author for in-text citations.
4. How to cite a photo in Chicago?
There are no significant differences in citing images, artwork, or photos in the Chicago style. You just need to mention in a Medium or Image type section that this is a photograph. For example, after the creator’s name and photo title, you will add the word “photograph,” then include the date of creation, source, and, if applicable, a URL.