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Why do my Tkinter images not appear?

When you add a PhotoImage or other Image object to a Tkinter widget, you must keep your own reference to the image object. If you don’t, the image won’t always show up.

The problem is that the Tkinter/Tk interface doesn’t handle references to Image objects properly; the Tk widget will hold a reference to the internal object, but Tkinter does not. When Python’s garbage collector discards the Tkinter object, Tkinter tells Tk to release the image. But since the image is in use by a widget, Tk doesn’t destroy it. Not completely. It just blanks the image, making it completely transparent…

The solution is to make sure to keep a reference to the Tkinter object, for example by attaching it to a widget attribute:

photo = PhotoImage(...)

label = Label(image=photo)
label.image = photo # keep a reference!


CATEGORY: tkinter