The artist would later state that this painting marked, for him, the moment of his transition from Abstract Expressionism to Figurative Expressionism. He was working on this canvas, having already built a surface of muted greens for what he intended to be an abstract painting. He began forming a shape in a contrasting orange-red, but the shape did not remain an abstract element. Rather, Kuhlman began to see the figure of a man engulfed in flames, a figure that he developed as the visual focus of the painting. Kuhlman titled the work Don Juan in Hell.