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Visual Research

Resources and tips for finding and ethically using visual imagery.

A Few Words About Copyright

Just because an image is found on the internet, it doesn't mean that it is there for you to use without permission.

Although student work can often be considered Fair Use of a copyrighted work, it is good practice to always look for a statement of permissible use and/or a suggested credit line before using the image. (See the College Art Association's Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in the Visual Arts for guidelines to follow. 

Can't find any? If possible, contact the copyright holder to ask permission (hey, it never hurts!), or failing that, find an alternative resource.

For more about copyright:

Citing Images (Chicago Style)

Painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Fig. 1. Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Spring, 1573. Oil on canvas, 76 x 63.5 cm, Musée du Louvre. Reproduced from the National Gallery of Art, (accessed February 15, 2011).
Citation elements required for each object, listed in order. Include as many as are relevant to the work/are available:
  •  Artist’s name
  •  Object Name / Descriptive Title
  •  Date
  •  Medium / Material(s)
  •  Dimensions
  •  Provenance (specific place of origin, if known -- i.e. city in Italy)
  •  Current location (museum, private collection, etc.)
  •  Image source (formatted in Chicago Manual of Style)


To cite your image in-text:

  • Reference illustrations with a parenthetical reference at the end of a sentence, including the abbreviation for figure in lowercase letters, as follows (fig. 1).
  • If you reproduce images from a print source then replace the "Reproduced from the National Gallery of Art" credit line at the end of the caption with a credit line for the book, with page number, as below.
  • Reproduced from Werner Kriegeskorte, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1527-1593 (Los Angeles: Taschen, 2004), 72. (adapted from CiteSource, Trinity College)