Zouave Half Figure - by Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh painted the portrait of Zouave in June of 1888. In his letter to his brother Theo, Van Gogh wrote:
Changing the subject-at last I have a model-a Zouave-a boy with a small face, the neck of a bull, and the eye of a tiger. I began with one portrait and then another; the bust portrait I did of
him was terribly harsh, in a blue uniform the colour of enamel saucepans, trimmed with faded red-oranged braid, with two lemon yellow stars on his hest, and ordinary blue and very hard to do.
I placed his deeply tanned, cat-like head with its madder-colored cap against a door painted green and the orange bricks of a wall. So it's a brutal combination of disparate tones, not easy to pull off.
The study I've made of it seems to me very hard, but all the same rd still like to work at crude, even garish portraits like this. I'm learning from it and that more than anythjing is what I ask of my work. The seconde portrait will be a full length one, standing against a white wall.