13 Attempts to Become a Rooster - 12

Wolfgang Lettl1978

Lettl Collection

Lettl Collection
Augsburg, Germany

The series "13 Attempts to Become a Rooster" dates back to the years 1977/78.

The series may be considered a surreal Curriculum Vitae.

The original working title of this series was:
"12 Attempts to Paint a Rooster“.

And thus the cycle ends logically for now, with the death of the rooster, shown in this image as the burning rooster crashing into the flowery meadow below, which in Lettl’s iconography, and following Henri Rousseau (1844-1910), somehow represents the original paradise.

Wolfgang Lettl painted this image at age 58. Little did he know that 30 years later, on February 10, 2008, still painting until his strength gave out and with a "Yes" on his lips, he would leave this world surrounded by his paintings and his loved ones.

But just as he is convinced that one's being does not end with one's death, this series does not end with Image 12. As a Surrealist he learns that other realities exist behind this reality.

And so he writes with reference to the painting "What Are You Looking at? - Look at Yourselves!" (2001):
Is the image in all its mysteriousness going to tell us that our reality and all those things beyond it that we can believe, know, and suspect, might not be the ultimate limit? That the abyss and the mysteriousness do not mean danger, but rather. . . the unimaginable plenitude of salvation?


  • Title: 13 Attempts to Become a Rooster - 12
  • Creator: Wolfgang Lettl
  • Creator Lifespan: 1919/2008
  • Creator Nationality: German
  • Creator Death Place: Augsburg
  • Creator Birth Place: Augsburg
  • Date Created: 1978
  • Location Created: Augsburg
  • Style: Surrealism
  • Physical Dimensions: w35 x h32,5 cm (without frame)
  • Original Title: 13 Versuche ein Hahn zu werden - 12
  • Subject Keywords: Surrealism, Lettl, Henri Rousseau, Paradise, death
  • Type: Oil painting
  • Rights: Florian Lettl
  • External Link: 13 Attempts at Becoming a Rooster - Number 1 - 13
  • Medium: medium-density fibreboard, oil paint
  • Art Movement: surrealism
  • Art Form: painting

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