How To Reference Images In An Essay Harvard

Artistic images

The format for creating a Harvard reference for an artistic image is:

ARTIST(S), Year. Title of work [material designation]. At: Location

In text example:

As can be seen in the painting Dancing lesson (Degas 1880).

Reference list example:

DEGAS, E., 1880. Dancing lesson [oil on canvas]. At: Williamstown, Massachusetts: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (no.562)

Electronic images

The format for creating a Harvard reference for an electronic image is:

ORIGINATOR(S), Year. Title of image or a description [digital image] [viewed date]. Available from: URL Filename including extension

In text example:

In Iman and Bowie (Malafronte 1999), the photographer captured...

Reference list example:

MALAFRONTE, V., 1999. Iman and Bowie [digital image] [viewed 23 June 2005]. Available from: jk8490-001.jpg

What should be included:

Where you include any images in your essay, thesis or work, you can describe them as figures. You will need to include them in reference.

  • Figures need to be numbered e.g. Figure 1. or Fig.1 or Figs. 1,2,3. and captioned (described),  place caption directly under the image.
  • Number all Figures in the order they first appear in the text. 
  • Figures must be referred to in the main body of the text.
  • Refer to them in the text by their number.

In-text citations should include the author/artist/designer and date.

The Reference List should include the author/artist/designer, date, title, format, publisher, viewed date and <URL>.

Example image with caption:

Figure 1: RMIT buildings - Brunswick Campus by Margund Sallowsky, RMIT University, 2006.


Figure 1. (Margund Sallowksy 2006) captures the inventive building design at Brunswick Campus

Reference list:

Sallowksy, M 2006, RMIT buildings - Brunswick Campus, digital image, RMIT University, viewed 12 January 2012, <>.



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