Invitation to the Coup

Wolfgang Lettl1981

Lettl Collection

Lettl Collection

"Invitation to the Coup", completed in 1981, is probably one of Wolfgang Lettl's most confusing paintings.

Everything becomes even more surreal upon reading the surrealistically tinged newspaper article which Dr. Giacomino Vascello, inspired by the painting, reported to an Italian daily:

Brief English summary:

INCREDIBLE: A resident of Foggia has made his contribution to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Dr. Vascello of Foggia and Wolfgang Lettl, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, have been good friends for many years, meeting over wine, good food, and classical music in order to talk about the worlds of art, law, and ethics. Wolfgang Lettl used the figure of Dr. Vascello for his painting "Invitation to the Coup".

A few years go by and something amazing happens: In Germany, where election campaigns rely much more on posters and postcards than in Italy, an inexplicable quirk of fate ensures that this painting is chosen for the Campaign to unify the two German states.

From that moment onwards all walls in Germany are plastered with this image, and hundreds of millions of postcard reproductions pass through the hands of millions of Germans.
Whether by joke or by coincidence, Dr. Vascello thus became the symbol of the spirit of the German nation.

All this was no doubt born over a glass of wine, the music of Mozart, and a steaming bowl of Spaghetti, but primarily, of course, during the discussions about state ethics.

With his artist's eyes the German painter saw in the obscure official from Southern Italy the true spirit of the state and wanted to convey the fruit of his discovery to his compatriots and his descendants.

And thus a resident of Foggia became an enduring part of one of the most dramatic moments in recent history.

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  • Title: Invitation to the Coup
  • Creator: Wolfgang Lettl
  • Date: 1981
  • Location: Augsburg, Manfredonia
  • Location Created: Manfredonia
  • Style: Surrealism
  • Physical Dimensions: w90 x h118 cm (without frame)
  • Original Title: Die Aufforderung zum Staatssreich
  • Type: Oil painting
  • Rights: Florian Lettl
  • External Link: The Lettl Collection