Third State: Bathers by a River
Bathers X-radiograph

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Third state,
May 1913

Digitally stitched and corrected reconstruction of Bathers by a River derived from Alvin Langdon Coburn’s photographs.

For this project, software was developed to unite the glimpses of Bathers by a River that Coburn recorded in his portraits of Matisse, correcting distortions and then flattening and aligning the images into the same plane. By digitally stitching them together, we can reconstruct, for the first time, the state of Bathers by a River on the date of the photographer’s visit. Looking past the silhouettes of the artist that result from this process, we can see a canvas that is clearly in transition and that demonstrates the degree to which Matisse’s Moroccan experience had influenced his work.

Matisse: Radical Invention 1913-1917
Bathers by a River
Back: 1908-09, 1911(?)-13, 1913-16, c. 1931
A Great French Painter, Henri Matisse: A film from 1946
Art Institute of Chicago
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