How do I cite an image reproduced in a book?

When you are citing an image reproduced in a book, it is usually sufficient to refer to it in your text and create a works-cited-list entry for the book as whole. In the example below, the image, printed in a book on a page with no page number, is described in prose, and the figure number is given parenthetically:

One political cartoonist working during the 1919 Paris peace talks depicted Bolshevism as an aggressive, predatory hawk, and the peace treaty as an unknowing dove (MacMillan, fig. 6).

Work Cited

MacMillan, Margaret. Paris 1919. Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2001.

If a page number appears, include it:

In describing the influences of Byzantine and Levantine silks on Anglo-Saxon art, C. R. Dodwell includes an image from the Bayeux Tapestry depicting two beasts eating their own tales (fig. 45, p. 169).

Work Cited

Dodwell, C. R. Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective. Cornell UP, 1982.

Another way to cite an image from a book is to treat the image as a work contained in another work. Using the MLA template of core elements, list any relevant information about the image supplied by your source. Then list the publication information for your source:

Velázquez, Diego. An Old Woman Cooking Eggs. Circa 1618, Scottish National Gallery. The Vanishing Velázquez: A Nineteenth-Century Bookseller’s Obsession with a Lost Masterpiece, by Laura Cumming, Scribner, 2016, p. 27.

If the image is transformed, distinctively presented, or informally published, characterize the work you are citing accurately in the entry:

Cat photographed with Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking with Eggs. Cat Photobombs of Famous Art, edited by Calliope Sanderson, Meow Publishers, 2017, plate 7.
Polaroid of Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking with Eggs. Circa 1982. Polaroid Photos in the 1980s, edited by Dan Greenleaf, North Press, 2010, p. 24.
Photo of Diego Velázquez’s Old Woman Cooking with Eggs. Smith Family Travel Photos, 2017, www.smithblog.com/eggs.

Published 7 August 2017

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