Skip to content

Referencing Paintings In Essay Citation

The APA Manual (6th ed.) does not give specific examples of artwork. This guide is based on section 7.10 which covers "nontext materials" and on examples for other types of sources.

Original Drawing / Painting / Sculpture / Photo / Etc.
If artist is unknown, begin with the title. If year is unknown, use (n.d.) for "no date."

Artist. (Year). Title [Description of material]. Institution, Museum, or Collection,
       City, abbreviated Province/State.

Pratt, C. (1965). Young girl with seashells [Oil on board]. Memorial University
       Art Gallery Permanent Collection, Corner Brook, NL.

Image in an Art Database (e.g. ARTstor)
As APA generally advises not to include direct URLs in Article Indexes and databases to avoid nonworking URLs, we recommend providing the name of the database, or the URL of the database's homepage.

Artist. (Year). Title [Description]. Institution, Museum, or Collection, Location.
       Available from Database Name OR Retrieved from URL

Landing of atlantic cable in Newfoundland, 1866 [Transparency, collodion on
       glass]. (1900). George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. ARTstor.

Reproduction in a Book

Artist. (Year of book's publication). Title of Artwork [Description]. Institution,
       Museum, or Collection, Location. In Author/Editor's name, Book Title
       (p. #). City, abbreviated Province/State of publication: Publisher.
       (Original work year).

Jacque, H. (2010). Labrador black duck [Clay tile]. Lawrence O'Brien
       Auditorium, Goose Bay, NL. In D. Brown, Uncommon clay: The
       labradoria mural (p. 18). St. John's, NL: Creative Publishing.
       (Original work 2009).

Reproduction in a Print Journal

Artist. (Year). Title [Description]. Institution, Museum, or Collection, Location.
       In Author. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume #(issue #), page

Carr, E. (1935). Scorned as timber, beloved of the sky [Oil on canvas].
       Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr Trust, Vancouver, BC. In S. R. Udall.
       Georgia O'Keeffe and Emily Carr: Health, nature and the creative
       process. Women's Art Journal, 27(1), 23.

Reproduction in an Online Journal
Provide the doi number (Digital Object Identifier).Provide URL of journal's homepage only if doi is not available. Do not include Article Index information.

Artist. (Year). Title [Description]. Institution, Museum, or Collection, Location.
       In Author. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume #(issue #),
       page #. Retrieved from: journal homepage URL

Sherman, C. (1980, July/August). Untitled film still #56 [Photograph].
       Collection of M. Harron. In C. Townsend. Art as commodity as art.
       Art Monthly (368), 2. Retrieved from:

Reproduction on a Website
If no date is available for the website, use (n.d.) for "no date".If no author is available, just include the title followed by the date.

Artist. (Year). Title [Description]. Institution, Museum, or Collection, Location.
       Webpage/document Author. (Year, Month day). Title of web page/
       document. Retrieved from: http://URL

Shepherd, H. P. (1962). Sunday morning [Oil]. Collection of Memorial
       University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL. The rooms. (n.d.).
       Retrieved from:


Producer, A. A. (Producer/s), & Director, B. B. (Director). (Year). Title of film 
       [DVD]. Country of origin: Studio.

Producer (Producer), & Director (Director). (Year). Title [Motion picture].
       Country of Origin: Studio.

Petras, A. (Producer) & Simms, J. (Director). (2008). Down to the dirt
       [Motion picture]. Canada: Mongrel Media.

Guide: How to cite a Artwork in APA style

Use the following template to cite a artwork using the APA citation style. For help with other source types, like books, PDFs, or websites, check out our other guides. To have your reference list or bibliography automatically made for you, try our free citation generator.


Pink text = information that you will need to find from the source.
Black text = text required by the APA style.

Reference list

Place this part in your bibliography or reference list at the end of your assignment.


Author Surname, Author Initial. (Year Published). Title. City: Gallery.


Kasstle, B. (2013). Tree of my life- Roots part 2. California: Brian Kasstles Blog.

In-text citation

Place this part right after the quote or reference to the source in your assignment.


(Author Surname, Year Published)


Picture used for PP, in Layers section (Kasstle, 2013)

Popular APA Citation Guides

Other APA Citation Guides

Cite A Artwork in APA style