The <image> SVG element includes images inside SVG documents. It can display raster image files or other SVG files.

The only image formats SVG software must support are JPEG, PNG, and other SVG files. Animated GIF behavior is undefined.

SVG files displayed with <image> are treated as an image: external resources aren't loaded, :visited styles aren't applied, and they cannot be interactive. To include dynamic SVG elements, try <use> with an external URL. To include SVG files and run scripts inside them, try <object> inside of <foreignObject>.

Note: The HTML spec defines <image> as a synonym for <img> while parsing HTML. This specific element and its behavior only apply inside SVG documents or inline SVG.

Usage context

CategoriesGraphics element, Graphics referencing element
Permitted contentAny number of the following elements, in any order:
Animation elements
Descriptive elements


Global attributes

Specific attributes

  • x: Positions the image horizontally from the origin.
  • y: Positions the image vertically from the origin.
  • width: The width the image renders at. Unlike HTML's <img>, this attribute is required.
  • height: The height the image renders at. Unlike HTML's <img>, this attribute is required.
  • xlink:href: Points at a URL for the image file.
  • preserveAspectRatio: Controls how the image is scaled.

DOM Interface

<image> implements the SVGImageElement interface.


Basic rendering of a PNG image in SVG:


<svg width=200 height=200 
  <image href="" height="200" width="200"/>    



Specification Status Comment
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 2
The definition of '<image>' in that specification.
Candidate Recommendation Allows omitting height and width
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 (Second Edition)
The definition of '<image>' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

We're converting our compatibility data into a machine-readable JSON format. This compatibility table still uses the old format, because we haven't yet converted the data it contains. Find out how you can help!

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) 1.5 (1.8) 9.0 8.0 3.0.4
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 3.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.8)[1] No support (Yes) 3.0.4

The chart is based on these sources.

Document Tags and Contributors

 Last updated by: gverni,