This drawing was created in year of 1888 while Van Gogh was staying in Arles, France. When he met a Zouave. Van Gogh was immediately
enthusiastic about this tough-looking young soldier in his striking apparel. Using him as a model he made two paintings, one of the
Zouave sitting up against a wall, the other a half-length portrait.
In this drawing, Van Gogh clearly attempted to do justice to the tough, manly character of the Zouave, who looks challengingly at the spectator, his hands placed firmly on his thighs. However, the proportions of the figure are not very satisfactory, and the work as a whole is not entirely successful.