Visual artwork

Important: Confirm with your lecturer whether you are using APA 6th or APA 7th as they are slightly different.

If there is no artist recorded for the figure, use the title in the position the author would normally be in. Please note, in APA the word “figure” is used to refer to all images, graphs, charts and visual material that you reproduce in your work. If you are discussing an image but not reproducing it, please see the above section “Images not reproduced in your work”.

In-text citations

When citing figures in the text of your work, you need to acknowledge them in two places:

  • within the written body of your paper, as you would for a normal in-text reference, and
  • below the figure.

If you view artwork in person, such as at a gallery or museum visit, you refer to it in the text through a citation and include a reference. No caption is required as you cannot insert the original artwork into your document!

If you do want to include a picture of the artwork in your document, you will need to caption and reference it according to the source you retrieved the reproduction from, such as a book or a website, but include the medium in the reference as well.

Within the written body 

  • Within the written body of your paper, cite the figure as you would for a normal in-text reference.
  • Refer to the figure by its assigned number. Do not refer to the figure as “the Figure above/below”, or “the Figure on page 17”.
  • Use the artist’s name as the author

Figure 3 depicts ….. (Rackham, 1904).

The artwork by Rackham (1904)….

Below the figure


Figure x. Title or description of image. Adapted/Reprinted from Webpage title, by Author, Year, Retrieved from URL

Figure 3. Windfalls [Drawing]. Reprinted from National Gallery of Victoria, by A. Rackham, 1904, Retrieved from

Reference list


Artist. (Year). Title of artwork [Medium]. City, State/Country: Gallery. OR DOI/URL

Original artwork is seen in person

Brack, J. (1955). The fish shop [Oil on composition board]. Melbourne, Australia: Museum of Modern Art.

  • Give the name of the artist, year artwork was created, the title of artwork (italics), medium (square brackets, no italics), and the location and name of the museum or gallery you saw the artwork at.

Online reproduction

Brack, J. (1955). The fish shop [Oil on composition board]. Retrieved from http://www.ngv/collections/johnbrack

  • Give the artist, year, title, medium, and URL.

Print reproduction

Bryant, H. (Ed.). (1993). Australian artists. Melbourne, Australia: Larwitt.

Give a reference entry for the print source (e.g., book) containing reproduction, not the artwork itself. Name the artist and artwork in the text and add the page or plate number to the in-text citation for the print source; e.g., ‘(Bryant, 1993, p. 46)’.