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Vincent van Gogh The Zouave Painting|
Title: The Zouave 1888
Oil on Canvas, 65 x 54cm - 25 x 21Inches (approx)
Vincent van Gogh
Famous Dutch artist - Post Impressionist painter
About the The Zouave Painting
Vincent van Gogh painted several portraits
of Zouaves, including his friend Paul-Eugene
Milliet (not the sitter for this portrait).
A zouave was a regiment of the French army
dressed in an arabesque influenced manner
because of its Algerian background.
Van Gogh wrote about the Zouave painting in
a letter to his brother Theo van Gogh, saying
"I have a model at last.. a Zouave..
a boy with a small face, a bull neck, and
the eye of a tiger, and I began with one portrait,
and began again with another; the half-length
I did of him was horribly harsh, in a blue
uniform, the blue of enamel saucepans, with
braids of a faded reddish-orange, and two
yellow stars on his breast, an ordinary blue,
and very hard to do. That bronzed, feline
head of his with a red cap, I placed it against
a green door and the orange bricks of a wall.
So it's a savage combination of incongruous
tones, not easy to manage. The study I made
of it seems to me very harsh, but all the
same I'd like always to be working on vulgar,
even loud portraits like this. It teaches
me something, and above all that is what I
want of my work. The second portrait will
be full length, sitting against a white wall."