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The purpose of this article is to discuss the process of colorizing a historical arti fact-a black and white archival photo of Bathers by a River, 1909-1917, by Henri Matisse (Art Institute of Chicago 1953.158), taken in November 1913, when the art ist was still working on the painting and showing it in a significantly differ ent state compared to the one seen today. Historical accounts describe a painting that was originally a more nat uralistic, pastoral image; but over the course of several years, and under the influence of Cubism and the circum stances of World War I, Matisse radical ly revised his monumental canvas (measuring 260 X 392 cm). Matisse later considered Bathers by a River to be one of the five most pivotal works of his career . 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 experi mental nature of the artist's output during a period that has been studied very little until now, have been the cen terpiece 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.