How do I cite an image in a periodical?

Note: This post relates to content in the eighth edition of the MLA Handbook. For up-to-date guidance, see the ninth edition of the MLA Handbook.

When you are citing an image reproduced in a periodical, it is usually sufficient to refer to it in your text and create a works-cited-list entry for the essay in which the image appears. In the example below, the image, printed in an essay from PMLA, is described in prose, and the figure number and page number on which the figure appears are given parenthetically:

Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is the central panel of an altarpiece painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck for the Cathedral of Saint Bavo, in Ghent (Connolly, fig. 1, p. 102).

Work Cited

Connolly, Thomas C. “Primitive Passions, Blinding Visions: Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘Mystique’ and a Tradition of Mystical Ekphrasis.” PMLA, vol. 132, no. 1, Jan. 2017, pp. 101–18.

Another way to cite an image from a periodical is to treat the image as a work contained in another work. For examples, see our post on citing images reproduced in a book.