James Branch Cabell

Literary Life and Legacy

Cabell’s Illustrators

brightly colored lino-cut of two figures on horseback [View Image]
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, [View Image]
“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 [View Image]
“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 StallionSamuel 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 [View Image]
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 [View Image]
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

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