Self-Portrait in Zouave Uniform

Object Details


Self-Portrait in Zouave Uniform


Roger Fenton (English, 1819 - 1869)




Crimea (Place created)




Albumen silver print


17.3 x 15.2 cm (6 13/16 x 6 in.)

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As part of his Crimean series, Roger Fenton photographed himself dressed in a Zouave uniform and holding a rifle. The Zouaves were French soldiers in a multinational allied army who fought in the Crimean War, where Fenton photographed them. The allied troops were made up of numerous ethnic groups. The Zouaves were exceptional not only for their colorfully exotic Algerian-derived uniforms, but also for their superior skill in battle. Fenton was given the uniform by a French general. Titling the image as though it were a photograph of an actual Zouave soldier but using himself as a model, Fenton forgoes accurate ethnic representation in favor of the romanticized play-acting in which he occasionally indulged.

Roger Fenton: The Orientalist Suite (July 16, 1996 to October 6, 1996)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 16 to October 6, 1996
All the Mighty World: The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852 - 1860 (October 17, 2004 to January 2, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 1 to April 24, 2005