When a freelance newspaper writer request me how the title of a sculpture need to be written, I went to The Chicago manual of Style to discover out if it should be italicized, fastened in quotation marks, or left plain.

You are watching: Do you italicize a painting title

Here is the advice ns found and passed on come the writer:

Titles of paintings, drawings, photographs, statues, and other functions of art room italicized, whether the titles space original, included by someone various other than the artist, or translated. The names of works of classical times (whose creators are often unknown) are usually set in roman.

Though major works of art are generally italicized, some enormous works that sculpture are regarded mainly as monuments and also therefore no italicized.

According come this advice, one need to italicize Kindred Spirits (oil painting), Shore Lunch (non-monumental sculpture), and Rose and Driftwood (Ansel Adams photo), but leave the Venus de Milo (work the antiquity) and the Statue the Liberty (monumental) in roman inn type.

After the fact, I checked to view what The AP Stylebook needs to say about italicizing titles. The AP editor are against it:

italics: AP does not italicize words in news stories.

According to AP guidelines, the title of just about everything room enclosed by quotation marks: publication titles, computer system game titles, movie titles, opera titles, beat titles, city titles, track titles, television program titles, and works the art. Exceptions space the Bible and also books that space “primarily catalogs of reference material.”

I chose to explore a few publications, American and British, come see how they carry out it. Two (both British) create the title without italics or quotation marks. 4 (all American) enclose the title in quotation marks. Just one (also American) italicizes art titles, including works from antiquity. Below are seven of the instances I gathered:

The Telegraph (British)I have the right to hardly bear to look in ~ a horrible small painting the a cloyingly sweet faced small girl entitled The Strawberry Girl, whereby the paint texture and also layers that discoloured varnish to be flattened during an early re-lining leading to the destroy we check out today

The elevation (British)His gigantic sculptures, numerous of them person figures, encompass Yellow, a man ripping open up his very own chest and also spilling out Lego innards (11,014 pieces make up the work), and a blue swimmer, and interpretations that masterpieces consisting of the Mona Lisa

The new York times (American)The show contains works top top loan as well as some of the gallery’s current acquisitions that have not to be on watch before, such as Frantisek Kupka’s ”Organization of graphic Motifs” and Yves Tanguy’s ”The look of Amber.”

The Sacramento punishment (American)Immediately you room struck through the rich and also evocative figurative abstraction “Martyr through a Red Arm.”

Boston world (American)Works favor “Patina,” indigenous 1975, and “Clavichord,” native 2002, feeling like classic Ihara.

The new Yorker (American)The sixth lot, “The little White House,” a 1919 see by Willard Metcalf, sold for simply over a million dollars.

The Smithsonian newspaper (American)The Venus de Milo is the most well known sculpture and, after the Mona Lisa, the most famed work of arts in the world.

Best advice: above the style guide that the publishing for which the short article is intended.

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4 Responses come “Work of art Titles”

thebluebird11on in march 30, 2015 1:11 pm

OK therefore my concern is, in her last example, why is Venus de Milo in italics however Mona Lisa isn’t?

Maeveon in march 30, 2015 3:51 pm

Bluebird,Good question.Answer: Typographical error.

Henry K. Longon June 15, 2019 8:37 pm

I i found it you carry out not point out artworks or art exhibitions in AP style – the is the preferred style for newspaper and also blog writing.

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Did I miss it. Ns was told by the Huff article to used estimates for titles of exhibitions….but what about individual artworks?

Maeve Maddoxon July 31, 2019 4:24 pm

Bluebird,I goofed. I just looked in ~ my resource and both Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa space italicized. Sorry. (I did notice that once I tried to copy and paste the pertinent passage, the italics disappeared.)

Henry K. Long,AP recommends quotation point out for every such. Their guidelines about quotation marks apply to “book titles, computer system game titles, movie titles, opera titles, pat titles, city titles, album and song titles, radio and also television program titles, and also the titles of lectures, speeches and also works the art.” I believe that arts exhibitions, favor lectures, would take quotation marks.