On first looking, I think the painting is relatively self-explanatory but there are some deeper thoughts going on here too. Superficially it documents a memorable break up, I was recently in contact with that significant other and we got along like a house on fire but times are very different, so we went our separate ways again with no hard feelings.
However if we have a soul, I don’t believe that we are limited to one ‘soul mate’ and that she was/is definitely one of them. Also I believe a close friend can be a ‘soul mate’. It is someone who you are closer to than anyone else, and the bond is family like.
Being born in the middle of the 20th century world war was close at hand, I’ve always been aware of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, particularly against the Jews. An alternative reading of this painting is that the archer is one of the Nazi regime’s women, strong but subservient, fertile, very feminine, often nude and always available to men. The male and female nude figured prominently in Nazi art, often set in rural surroundings or shown participating in sporting activities. The men were muscle bound, godlike, the women, shapely, pink-fleshed. So here the awful dogma of Nazi Germany, is represented by the kitsch archer, firing her arrows into the heart of the world, splattering the doves of peace with its blood.