Cabell’s Illustrators

brightly colored lino-cut of two figures on horseback
Jurgen in Lino-cuts by William John Bernhard
Special Collections and Archives, VCU Libraries

The rich imagery of Cabell’s writing inspired artists working in a variety of styles and media. The following list is not exhaustive, but the links will allow you to view representative examples of illustrations and artistic responses to Cabell’s work. A more extensive list of the major Cabell illustrators can be found in James N. Hall’s bibliography (pp. 173-177).

Jurgen embraces Phyllis, Satan's wife,
“Jurgen spent this night at the Black House of Barathum”
illustration for Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice by Frank C. Papé

Frank C Papé — Papé’s illustrations of Cabell’s books are the most well-known. Start with Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice.

Howard PyleThe Line of Love,The Story of Adhelmar” and other works. See also Chivalry where the frontispiece and eight of the color plates are by Howard Pyle; two plates are by William Hurd Lawrence; and one is by Elizabeth Shippen Green” (Thorne & Lloyd, An Illustrated Bibliography of Works By and About James Branch Cabell).

C. Coles Phillips (Coles Phillips) — frontispiece, The Cords of Vanity 1909.

Ray Frederick CoyleJurgen: A Comedy of Justice.  R. M. McBride & Co., 1923.

John Buckland WrightJurgen: A Comedy of Justice. Golden Cockerel Press, 1949. An edition of 500 copies, with 16 original wood engravings by Wright.

William John Bernhard — Jurgen in Lino-cuts; Taboo, in Lino-cuts; The Jewel Merchants in Lino-cuts.

print shows Jurgen being pushed in a wheelbarrow by a demon with horns. he is meeting his father
“Jurgen meets his Father in Hell,” [sic]
Samuel R. Ogden, artist. detail of plate from Twenty-two Plates from Cabell’s Jurgen
Image: Thorne and Lloyd, The Silver Stallion

Samuel R. Ogden Twenty-two Plates from Cabell’s Jurgen [self-published?], 1929.

Virgil Burnett — Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice. Limited Editions Club, 1976. Designed by Ted Gensamer in a limited edition of 2,000 copies.

James H. Wolf Althouse The Judging of Jurgen, [privately published?], 192?

Leon Underwood — The Music from Behind the Moon: An Epitome. With eight wood engravings by Leon Underwood. The John Day Company, 1926.

Doris Lee The St. Johns: A Parade of Diversities by Branch Cabell and A. J. Hanna. (Rivers of America series). Farrar & Rinehart, 1943.

Fabrizio Clerici L’Incubo (The Nightmare Has Triplets, Italian ed.) Arnoldo Mondadori, 1949.

Rowland Wilson — Jurgen: A Comedy of JusticeAvon cover design, 1965.

Bob Pepper Something About Eve, The Silver Stallion, Figures of Earth, Ballantine cover design, 1969-1971

James Branch Cabell himself created the Sigil of Scoteia for The Cream of the Jest: A Comedy of Evasions; a map of Poictesme, and the Kalki emblem of the stallion “rampant in every member.”


Avon paperback cover of Jurgen with naked women frolicking
Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice, first Avon paperback ed., 1965
Rowland Wilson, cover artist
Image: Thorne and Lloyd, An Illustrated Bibliography of Works By and About James Branch Cabell


Ballantine paperback book cover with psychedelic figures
Something About Eve, Ballantine paperback ed., 1971
Bob Pepper, cover artist
Image: Thorne and Lloyd, An Illustrated Bibliography of Works By and About James Branch Cabell