Art: Old Soldier's View

One highlight of the Van Gogh exhibition at Manhattan's Wildenstein Gallery last week was the portrait of a bluff, tough French colonial officer of Zouaves. The soldier had posed for some of Van Gogh's most famed portraits and had even taken drawing lessons from the unhappy master. Last week the old soldier's reminiscences were published for the first time.

The officer was Paul-Eugéne Milliet, a policeman's son and professional soldier who rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel, retired soon after World War I. He died in bed during the Nazi occupation of...

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