Vincent van Gogh painted The Zouave in 1888. Van Gogh's portrait of a soldier in his uniform signaled a change in his approach to color.
The paint is applied thickly, in broad areas, in heavily saturated tones of green, red, and blue that appear more sober than bright. A division of French-Algerian soldiers billeted in Arles, France, the Zouaves were notorious for their recklessness on and off the battlefield. Van Gogh asserted that the subject inspired the palette, which he described as "a savage combination of incongruous tones."