The man who puts women on fire
posted by widowcranky.com

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There is nothing quite so attractive as someone who can stimulate the mind as well as the body. I maybe in the minority here, as obviously most first attraction is built on the physical, but I find nothing more attractive than someone who can spark inspiration and hold an intellectual conversation with a witty rapport. This is probably not surprising if you have read anything else by me, as actually I am a pretty intense person, which can very often be misconstrued.

I think that Lettl captures this perfectly in “The man who puts women on fire”. At first glance this painting may look like an arsonists dream, but actually I find it deeply telling.

Lettl was a German artist who started in watercolour when while he was a communications officer in the second world war. On his return from his service he became a freelance artist, but during the currency reform had to take work in construction, although continued to refine his technique. In 1954 he was once again able to fully concentrate on his art and really develop and master his own style of surrealism.

“The man who puts women on fire” was painted in 1967, and I was instantly drawn to this piece. You might think that is because I actually enjoy surrealism and the naked form, which wouldn’t be a lie in the slightest, as I do find artists renditions of the physical form so telling as to how they perceive people, but this painting spoke to me.

There were several things that struck me all at once about this painting. Firstly, the plant life, it’s deep and lush and filled with exotic flowers which reach up to the men’s chests who are stood in it. There is an abundance of lilies and hocks and strongly scented flowers in this floral forest, which brought to mind a heavily intoxicated feel to me. Sensual and heady as I can imagine the smell as the men move through this field. The flowers used are all quite symbolic to romance and sex, adding to the overall feel of the painting. This did make me think of the “Primavira” painted by Botticelli. While Botticelli’s is not so dense with plants, it covers a wide range of plant life to an exacting detail, which makes me feel that this may be a subtle homage to this great painter.

We can see a red sun, just above the flowers on the left hand side of the piece. It’s setting, making way for the duck which surrounds the figures, beautiful blues and greens, almost as though the aura borealis is in the air, which if you have ever witnessed this or seen photos of it, you will understand the true magical beauty of the resonant lights in the sky.

For me, the two men in the field, are actually one and the same. Showing the two sides of Lettl. The one which is central and further away, dressed as a serviceman, the features less obvious in the face and acting like a distant memory. The one which is nearer and to the right, a masked man, mysterious and intriguing. Dressed as an artist, showing Lettl’s true calling and what inspires him. The mask, while not covering the whole face, does indicate that there are hidden depths to the man. His features more visible.

Finally and the central focal point, the woman with her head on fire. She is lounged on a loveseat, a shoe has been lost along the way to her being here, and a sheet of white fabric lies beneath her. We have lost her head in the blaze, which to me says that her mind has been set on fire. She has been inspired and enthralled to the point of ecstasy. This is driving her lust. She is almost posed as an artists model, and in my mind the artist and model have struck up an accord which has opened stimulated her thoughts and her body as we see her hand wandering down her torso.

I think that this painting has a beautiful message and a wonderful feel. It captures the true wonder of what an all encompassing relationship could bring. The headiness of romance indicated by the flowers, the intrigue of intelligence and experience shown by the men and the effect of spiritual and physical shown by the woman.

I simply can’t get enough of this picture, as I seem to find some different nuance in it each time I look at it.



   - Ausstellung: Der Vielseiter  (01.02.-15.07.2018)

   - The man who puts women on fire  (01.2018)

   - Jesus auf der Schaubühne - Tage Alter Musik in Herne 2017  (11.2017)

   - Methods of Philosophy  (10.2017)

   - Doodle - versioni speciali del logo - di Stato Quotidiano.it  (08/09.2017)

   - Ausstellung: Manfredonia, la mia amata  (08.2017)

   - Ausstellung im Karl Rahner Haus in Freiburg  (09.2016)

   - Die "Sammlung Lettl" bleibt zusammen  (02.2016)

   - Ausstellung "verknüpft"  (10.-12.2015)

   - Einladung und Aufbau der Herbstausstellung "verknüpft"  (08.-09.2015)

   - Lettl trifft Benedikt- Impressionen vom 16.06.2015  (06.2015)

   - Lettl trifft Benedikt  (06.2015)

   - Neosurrealismus trifft Surrealismus  (03.2015)

   - Digitale Partnerschaft zwischen dem LETTL-Verein und GOOGLE  (10.2014)

   - Lettl zieht nach 20 Jahren aus dem Atrium der IHK aus  (01.2014)

   - Wolfgang Lettl: "Wie der Glaube seine Kunst beeinflusst hat."  (12.2013)

   - Auf den Trichter gekommen  (11.2013)

   - Einladung 20 Jahre Lettl-Museum  (10.2013)

   - 20 Jahre Lettl-Atrium in der IHK  (06.2013)

   - Sehschule - Surreale Welten - Passau  (05.2013)

   - Lettl-Herbarium  (03.2013)

   - Neuerwerbung  (05.2012)

   - Surrealismus im Wohnzimmer  (03.2012-04.2012)

   - Ausstellung "Lettl in Landshut"  (11.2011)

   - Surreale Kunst und Musik im Dialog  (04.2011-10.2011)

   - Franziska: Muse, Modell, Mäzenin - Gedenkausstellung   (12.2010-02.2011)

   - "Präsentation der Doktorarbeit von Marco Russo"  (07.2010)

   - "Der Kandidat auf dem Moritzplatz"  (01.2010.-04.2010)

   - "Ausstellungen 2010"  (12.09.-02.2010)

   - "Lettl - Reproduktionen in Museumsqualität"  (05.2009)

   - "Grabmal von Wolfgang Lettl"  (03.2009)

   - "Skulptur für das Grab von Wolfgang Lettl"  (05.2008)

   - "Das Finale ist gemalt"  (03.2008)

   - "Zum Tode von Wolfgang Lettl - erste Würdigungen"  (02.2008)

   - "Opus 88 - Finale - allegro ma non troppo".  (12.2007 - 01.2008)

   - Zum Jahreswechsel  (2007/2008)

   - Opus 88  (09.-11.2007)

   - Rom 1955  (09.-10.2007)

   - Die Stufen der Nähe  (07.-08.2007)

   - Musikalische Interpretation zum Bild "Lebenslauf"  (06.2007)

   - Die Vision: Skizze-Farbentwurf-Ausführung  (05.2007)

   - Musikalische Interpretation zum Bild "Stürzender Engel"  (04.2007)

   - "Mensch sein - ein Versuch"  (12.2006 - 03.2007)

   - Zum Jahreswechsel  (2006/2007)

   - Wolfgang Lettl beim Dichten  (11.2006)

   - Die Kunst des Weglassens  (09.2006)

   - Das neueste Bild von Wolfgang Lettl  (07.2006)

   - Ältestes surreales Bild von Wolfgang Lettl  (06.2006)

   - Surrealismus im ARTrium in Bad Birnbach  (03.2006 - 05.2006)

   - "Deinen Schatten vergesse ich, dich aber nicht."  (11.2005 - 02.2006)

   - Zum Jahreswechsel  (2005/2006)

   - Britannia rules the waves  (09.2005)

   - Interview von Schülern mit Wolfgang Lettl   (08.2005)

   - Bewahrt Eure Stadt ...  Kriegsende und Neuanfang in Augsburg  (05.2005)

   - Erweiterung des Archivs um eine Gallerie  (04.2005)

   - "Pintepios" oder "Das letzte Geheimnis Griechenlands"  (03.2005)

   - "Lettl - 85 Jahre"  (12.2004 - 02.2005)

   - Zum Jahreswechsel  (2004/2005)

   - Ein Rätsel und seine Folgen  (11.2004)

   - Un foggiano ha dato il suo contributo per fare cadere il muro di Berlino  (10.2004)

   - Audiodateien   (09.2004)

   - Die drei Türen - Ein Kindheitstraum mit Folgen   (08.2004)

   - Gipfeltreffen in Lindau   (07.2004)

   - Ausstellung:Zeichnungen aus den Jahren 2003/04   (05.2004 - 06.2004)

   - Augsburger Kulturtöpfe  (04.2004)

   - Tagebuch eines surrealistischen Bildes  (03.2004)

   - Frühlingsgefühle  (02.2004)

   - 10 Jahre Lettl-Atrium  (11.2003 - 02.2004)

   - Zum Jahreswechsel  (2003/2004)

   - Skulptur "Gipfeltreffen"  (04.- 10.2003)

   - Bleistiftskizzen - II  (09.2003)

   - Urlaub im Meer  (08.2003)

   - Museum in Augsburg nach dem Umbau  (07.2003)

   - Kurzfilm "Das Mädchen"  (06.2003)

   - Zwei Lettl-Figuren für das Fuggerschloss in Kirchheim  (05.2003)

   - Die Macht, das Schöne und der Wurm  (04. 2003)

   - Siebdruck "Der Kandidat"  (03.2003)

   - Foto zum Karneval  (02.2003)

   - Barca di Venetia per Padova  (02.2003)

   - Theater IrrReal - Spiegel-Bilder  (01.2003)

   - Zum Jahreswechsel  (2002/2003)

   - Durch Zufall entdeckt!  (12.2002)

   - Verleihung der Justizmedaille an Wolfgang Lettl  (11.2002)

   - Die Hochstaplerserie  (10.2002)

   - Kann ein Maler heute unpolitisch sein?   (09.2002)

   - Nachtrag zum Vortrag:"Filioque"   (08.2002)

   - "Filioque"  (07.2002)

   - Lettl in Lindau III  (06.2002)

   - Lettl in Lindau II  (05.2002)

   - Bleistiftskizzen - I  (04.2002)

   - Lettl in Lindau I  (03.2002)

   - Museum surreale - Diplomarbeit von Diana Schubärth  (02.2002)

   - "Lettl im Gericht"  (12.2001 - 01.2002)

   - "Der Augsburger Stöpsel"  (07. - 11.2001)

   - "Die wahnsinnige Zitrone"  (06.2001)

   - "Frühlingserwachen"  (05.2001)

   - Die "Graue Serie"  (04.2001)

   - Skulpturen  (03.2001)

   - Gesucht! - Gefunden?  (02.2001)

   - Bilder zum Jahrtausendwechsel  (12.2000-1.2001)

   - Puzzle "Le matin"  (11.2000)

   - Bilder, die Musik erzeugen  (10.2000)

   - Neue Aquatinta-Radierungen  (09.2000)

   - Das aktuelle Bild  (07.2000)