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ARTH 3370: Northern Renaissance Art: Citing sources

MLA style

Always follow the instructions given by your professor when citing sources! The outlines below are general. Individual instructors may have specific requests and instructions.

See the Library's MLA style guide for quick tips on citing books, articles, and websites. See the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th ed. in print for full guidelines. A copy of this can be found at the Research & Information Desk.

Citing images in MLA style: captions and in list of works cited

Fra Angelico, Annunciation, ca. 1440

Fig. 1. Fra Angelico, The Annunciation, Museo di San Marco, Florence.
(Handbook section 4.5, page 118)

In list of works cited, image taken from a website:
Fra Angelico. The Annunciation. Ca. 1440. Fresco. Museo di San Marco, Florence. ARTstor, n.d. Web. 23 Aug. 2010.
(Handbook section 5.6.2, page 184)

In list of works cited, image taken from a book:
Fra Angelico. The Annunciation. Ca. 1440. Fresco. Museo di San Marco, Florence. Christopher Masters. Renaissance. London: Merrell, 2008. 94. Print.
(Handbook section 5.7.6, page 200)

General guidelines for figure captions

  1. Label the image Figure (usually abbreviated Fig.) and assign it an arabic numeral (1, 2, 3...)
  2. Give the image a caption, for example, "Fig. 1. Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, Wichita Museum, Wichita."
  3. Place the caption directly below the image and give it the same one-inch margins as the text of the paper.

"If the caption...provides complete information about the source and the source is not cited in the text, no entry for the source in the works-cited list is necessary."

General format for work of art in list of works cited

Artist last name, first name. Title of work. Date. Medium of composition. Museum or collection where work is located, city. Source of image (complete citation for book or website, including page number, figure number, or other relevant identifier).

Chicago style

See below for quick tips on citing books, articles and websites in Chicago style. For detailed information, see the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., in the reference section at Z253.U69 2003.

In Chicago style, image and source information is placed in the caption below the image.

Fra Angelico, Annunciation, ca. 1440

Fig. 1. Fra Angelico, The Annunciation. Fresco, 230 x 297 cm. Museo di San Marco, Florence. Reproduced from Christopher Masters, Renaissance (London: Merrell, 2008), 94.
(Manual 12.31-12.51, pages 484-490)

Chicago style can require either notes (footnotes or endnotes) & bibliography or the author-date system; rely on your professor for which method to use. Notes and bibliography are usually favored for the arts and humanities. The examples below are for citations in a bibliography. See the print manual to format notes. Also see the print manual to format parenthetical text citations and reference list citations in the author-date system.

Sample bibliography entries

Book, one author

Last name, First name. Title. Place: Publisher, date.

Masters, Christopher. Renaissance. London: Merrell, 2008.

(Manual 17.26, page 649)

Book with an editor

Editor last name, First name, ed. Title. Place: Publisher, date.

Farago, Claire, ed. Reframing the Renaissance: Visual Culture in Europe and Latin America 1450-1650. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

(Manual 17.41, page 654)

Essay in a book

Author last name, First name. "Title of Essay." In Title of Book, edited by Editor first name Last name, pp-pp. Place of publication: Publisher, date.

Lazzaro, Claudia. "'Animals as Cultural Signs: A Medici Menagerie in the Grotto at Castello." In Reframing the Renaissance: Visual Culture in Europe and Latin America 1450-1650, edited by Claire Farago, 197-228. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

(Manual 17.69, page 662)

Journal article

Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal volume, number (year): pages.

McCaughey, Patrick. "Panic at the Wedding Feast." Apollo 169 (2009): 67-8.

(Manual 17.157, page 689)

Article downloaded from a database

Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal volume, number (year), url.

Marshall, Louise. "Manipulating the Sacred: Image and Plague in Renaissance Italy." Renaissance Quarterly 47, 3 (1994),

(Manual 17.181, page 697)


Author Last name, First name [if available]. "Title of Page." Title of site. Organizational publisher (date published [if available]). url (date retrieved).

"The Arts of Fire: Islamic Influences on the Italian Renaissance (May 4-September 5, 2004)." J. Paul Getty Museum: Past Exhibitions. J. Paul Getty Museum (2004). (accessed August 24, 2010).

(Manual 17.237, page 714)

Online citation tools

There are lots of tools that can help you format citations and bibliographies. They make the job of citation easier, but are not always 100% accurate. Double-check automatically-formatted citations before handing in papers!

ProQuest RefWorks

RefWorks is an online citation manager. You can import and save citations to books and articles from the Library's catalog and databases, sort them into folders for specific classes and projects, plug them into research papers you write using Microsoft Word, and format them into notes and bibliographies in whatever style is required. RefWorks is a powerful tool! See our Guide to RefWorks for more information.

KnightCite logo

Simpler and less powerful than RefWorks, KnightCite is a free online tool from the Calvin College Library. You type in the parts of your citation (title, author, etc.), and it spits the information back out in MLA, APA or Chicago style format. This tool is popular with students and sometimes recommended by professors.

 Avery Index cite buttonEBSCO Cite Button

Look for the tools in our databases, too! EBSCO, FirstSearch (Avery Index, WorldCat), and other databases will show you a citation formatted in a number of styles, and you can just copy and paste the one you need. Look for the "cite" link under "tools" or "resources" when you're looking at an article in a database.

Writing center

While we librarians are very used to helping students with questions about citation style, the Writing Center is also a helpful resource.

Writing Center

The BGSU Writing Center is located in the Learning Commons on the first floor of Jerome Library.

Photo: "Modernity" by the Student Writing Center at Salt Lake Community College