Vincent van Gogh completed Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in 1888, after spending time sketching on the shore of the Mediterranean fishing village.
There is a high level of control in van Gogh's composition, with its nearly even division of land and sky and the boats positioned to break through the division and unite the separate zones. Even the color is controlled, and individual objects are bound within black contour lines.
The Zouaves were French-Algerian soldiers stationed in Arles. Learn how van Gogh used color to portray a Zouave soldier in the next section.