Crested Guinea Fowl
The birds occupy most of the canvas, both extreme foreground and middle ground, and their striking posture -- standing erect as if alert -- and their almost uniform colouring as well as their clearly delineated and uncomplicated body forms seem to indicate this painting is intended as an illustration of the fauna of sub-Saharan Africa. The blueness of their faces are echoed on the layers of distant mountains, while their crescent body shapes are in good contrast to the upright foliages of the bush around them, creating almost a surreal image. Keith Henderson was raised in Aberdeenshire and London. He studied at the Slade School of Art and then at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris. While in Paris, he shared a studio with Maxwell Armfield. He served in both World Wars as a war artist. Between the two World Wars, he travelled extensivelly in Africa and South America where he produced many images of the flora and fauna that he saw on these trips and would later include in his book illustrations. He illustrated many books and designed posters for London Transport and the Empire Marketing Board.