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Academic Honesty and Plagiarism | Citation styles

References to Works of Art

Text References

Works of art discussed in the text should be properly identified. In the text it is sufficient to write something like:

...Sheep are an important theme in nineteenth-century Australian painting. For example, in Tom Robert's Shearing the Rams,33 there are several rams...

The title of a work of art is set off using italics.
Be careful to distinguish this from the subject, which is not italicised. Thus:

...the myth of Diana and Actaeon is represented in Titian's Actaeon Discovering Diana Bathing34 in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.


In the footnote, here note 33, give full details of the work:
33. Tom Roberts, Shearing the Rams. Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, inv. no. 98.892.

It is often appropriate to give a reference as well to enable the reader to locate the key literature, such as a collection catalogue or catalogue raisonné, hence:
33. Tom Roberts, Shearing the Rams. Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, inv. no. 98.892. Hoff 1995, cat. 66.

Often it is appropriate to include details of date, medium and dimensions. Separate the unit of artist, title and date from medium and dimensions by a full stop, and similarly from the location:
33. Tom Roberts, Shearing the Rams, 1889. 193 x 265 cm, oil on canvas. Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, inv. no. 98.892. Hoff 1995, cat. 66.


Where practicable, include photocopies of all works of art or other visual material referred to in the essay.
Passing references need not be illustrated, but at any point where you are examining the visual evidence closely it is important that you supply illustrations - good quality black and white photocopies - and give clear references to them.

  • For undergraduate essays: photocopies of pages from books with your figure number clearly indicated.
  • For theses: (if colour is important to your argument) it is a good idea to illustrate key works with colour laser copies, but generally this is not required.

Illustration References

Refer to illustrations as (fig. 5) etc. in the text, and number them accordingly, thus:

...in Tom Robert's Shearing the Rams (Fig. 5).33 This painting...

Note that figure references come after the work title, before any punctuation, which in turn comes before any footnote numbers.

Full references to illustrations should be given in the List of Illustrations, and should take the following form, including the source of the illustration in brackets:

Fig. 5. Tom Roberts, Shearing the Rams, Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, inv. no. 98.892. (Hoff 1995, p. 67.)

Fig. 6. View of Federation Square, Melbourne, from Swanston Street. (Author.)

You may choose to give more information than this, or may be required to do so (such as date, measurements, or medium).

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