A genuine van Dongen, expressive, pleasing colors, nice sultry. That's my first impression when I see this intimately entwined couple at a distance through a crowd of people. The man, smartly dressed, but, most remarkable, the woman is almost naked. When later I stand closer to the canvas, I see that the man in black has wings. The title sign says Tango with Death. Van Dongen started painting in 1913, but finished it nearly 20 years later. Did he only later in life, when he was almost 60, designate the man as the angel of death?
However that may be, as we see the work, it is a woman clinging passionately to the black angel. She closes her eyes while dancing the most beautiful tango she has ever danced. The most beautiful and at the same time, also the most erotic and the most fatal, because she has totally surrendered to death.... Van Dongen has portrayed here the erotic and ecstatic love... (Google translation; http://www.kunstmeditaties.nl/meditatie&item=1)
angeldutch artistman in suitnude femaleangel in suitman with wingsdeath