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CSS background-image Property

The background-image property sets one or more background images on an element.

By default, the image is repeated so it covers the entire element.

CSS Demo: background-image

background-image: url('avatar.jpg');
background-image: url('lizard.png');
background-image: url('lizard.png'), url('cloud.png');
background-image: linear-gradient(crimson, skyblue);
background-image: radial-gradient(crimson, skyblue);

Even if the images are opaque and the color won't be displayed in normal circumstances, web developers should always specify a background-color. If the images cannot be loaded - for instance, when the network is down, the background color will be used as a fallback.

Technical Details

Default value none
Applies to all elements
Inherited no
Computed value as specified
Animatable no See animatable properties.
Version CSS1 + new values in CSS3
JavaScript syntax object.style.backgroundImage = "url(flower.jpeg)"

CSS Syntax:

background-image: url|none|linear-gradient()|radial-gradient()|initial|inherit;


Specify the background with single image:

Run code

Specify the background with multiple images:

Run code

Specify the background with (image and linear-gradient):

Run code

The following example shows how to make a responsive background image:

Run code

Browser compatibility

The numbers in the table specify the first browser version that fully supports the background-image property:

background-image 1 1 3.5 1 4

Warning: Internet Explorer 8 and earlier versions do not support the multiple background images on a single element.

Property Values

The following table describes the values of background-image property:

Value Description
url('URL') Specifies the location of the image resource to be used as a background image. To specify more than one image, separate the URLs with a comma
none It is a keyword denoting the absence of images (This is default)
linear-gradient() Sets a linear gradient as the background image. Define at least two colors (top to bottom)
radial-gradient() Sets a radial gradient as the background image. Define at least two colors (center to edges)
repeating-linear-gradient() Repeats a linear gradient
repeating-radial-gradient() Repeats a radial gradient
initial Sets this property to its default value
inherit Inherits this property from its parent element

See also

CSS Background tutorial

CSS Gradients tutorial

CSS background property

CSS background-position property

CSS background-size property

CSS background-repeat property