Colorizing a masterpiece

Sotirios A. Tsaftaris, Kristin H. Lister, Inge Fiedler, Francesca Casadio, Aggelos K. Katsaggelos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this article is to discuss the process of colorizing a historical artifacta black and white archival photo of Bathers by a River, 19091917, by Henri Matisse (Art Institute of Chicago 1953.158), taken in November 1913, when the artist was still working on the painting and showing it in a significantly different state compared to the one seen today. Historical accounts describe a painting that was originally a more naturalistic, pastoral image; but over the course of several years, and under the influence of Cubism and the circumstances of World War I, Matisse radically revised his monumental canvas (measuring 260 392 cm). Matisse later considered Bathers by a River to be one of the five most pivotal works of his career [1]. Historical photographs unearthed by archival research depict the painting at various stages. The painting, along with these historical photographs, our colorized image, and other works documenting the experimental nature of the artist's output during a period that has been studied very little until now, have been the centerpiece of a recent exhibit, Matisse: Radical Invention 1913-1917, that was at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in March-October 2010 [1].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5753071
Pages (from-to)113-119
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Signal Processing Magazine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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