Sunday, August 3, 2014

F. Bayerlein postcard illustration with a hint of weirdness

I find the artwork on this old postcard to be just the slightest bit off and unsettling — and I think that's why I like it.

It seems fairly straightforward. A moonlit coastline. A lighthouse. And what appears to be a seaweed-covered shipwreck.

Maybe it's the reddish glow of the lighthouse beacon that lends a hint of something ominous. Or the shadows within the carcass of the shipwreck that make you not quite sure what you're looking at. Or that fact that the clouds in the overcast sky seem to have parted just enough to let the full brightness of the impossibly huge moon shine down.

Beyond the artwork, there is more mystery surrounding this postcard.

The artist was F. Bayerlein, who was apparently known for his landscapes. I believe he was German. You can view a couple more examples of his work under section "F" on He seems to like putting an off-in-the-distance glow into the background of his illustrations.

The postcard is undated and was never used. The initials HSM are printed on the back. According to the Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City, those initials stood for publisher Hermann Sonntag of Munich, Germany.

In the upper-left corner on the back, the word for postcard is written in 15 different languages. Some of those words include:
  • Postkarte
  • Carte postale
  • Weltpostverein
  • Union postale universelle
  • Korrespondenzkarte Korrespondenzkarte
  • Cartolina postale
  • Dopisnice
  • Karta korespondencyjna
  • Korespondenčni listek
  • Briefkaart
  • Levelezö-Lap
  • Brefkort

I'll leave you with this. Sleep tight.
Az ábrán ezen régi képeslap létrehoz egyfajta félelem és a kétségbeesés bennem. Azt hiszem, hogy én vagyok, hogy figyelnek. Aggódom, hogy mi leselkedik a part mentén ezen a holdfényes éjszakán.

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