By the end of 1853, the French army included three Zouave regiments, each of which was allocated to a different province within Algeria. It was during the Crimean war that these zouave regiments first saw service outside of Algeria.
In December 1854, a fourth zouave regiment was created, the “Zouaves of the Imperial Guard”, and this was subsequently formed in March 1855 by amalgamating detachments from the zouave regiments already serving in the Crimea. The Zouaves of the Imperial Guard served through the remainder of the Crimean War and all of the subsequent campaigns during the French Second Empire.
This miniature depicts a Zouave of the Imperial Guard during the Crimean war, wearing the classic zouave uniform but most easily distinguishable by the use of yellow braiding and piping on the jacket and gilet instead of the red used by the line regiments. However, the miniature offers painters the freedom to choose which zouave regiment they would prefer to depict.