The art of Ray Frederick Coyle, 1885–1924


Another illustrator who died young, Ray Coyle’s short life no doubt explains why his work isn’t more visible today. The first two illustrations here are from a 1920s edition of Jurgen (1919), the scurrilous fantasy novel by James Branch Cabell which has been praised by enthusiasts of ironic comedy as diverse as Aleister Crowley and Michael Moorcock.


Some of the illustrations in this Flickr set bear the date 1923 so they may have been Coyle’s last major work. Frank C Papé is the artist more commonly associated with Cabell, and while his art complements the author’s humour, Coyle’s elegant post-Beardsley style seems more suited to Jurgen’s worldly temperament.


This beautiful drawing is one of six pieces from a memorial book, To Remember Ray Frederick Coyle, published in 1926. A stunning piece of art and this rebound edition has an equally stunning cover design by Jeannie Sack. If anyone has a link to other drawings in this series, please leave a comment.

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Fantazius Mallare and the Kingdom of Evil

8 thoughts on “The art of Ray Frederick Coyle, 1885–1924”

  1. Hi Haviland. No I don’t, in fact I often wonder what becomes of the originals of these lesser-known artists.

  2. I am one of the many grand daughters of Ray F. Coyle. I have one of the original books by Ogden Nash that has the copies of these inks. I believe there were some 12 copies made for members of the Bohemian Club. I also have the original to the top 2 illustrations.

    Feel free to contact me with questions regarding his work. Haviland is his daughter and probably knows more about him.

  3. Hi Barbara
    I have come accross coupe of Mr. Ray Coyle paintings. Will you please let me know in your opinion what they are worth if they are originals?

  4. My great great Grandfather was the good friend and associate of Ray Fredrick Coyle, John Henry Nash also printed To Remember Ray Frederick Coyle and gave a moving forward to this captivating artiste. The forward by J.H.Nash is quite moving. Duncan Nash McCoy. P.S. I have a copy # 204 out of 210.

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