Artwork of the Month - March 2011
Artist: Elsie Henderson (Baroness de Coudenhove) (1880-1967)
Status: Permanent collection
Item No.: GMAG 4330
About the Artist
Elsie Henderson was a sculptor, painter and lithographer. She was born in Eastbourne, Sussex but spent much of her childhood in Guernsey, attending the Girl's School.
In 1903 Henderson went to the Slade School of Fine Art, London, where she was taught by Fred Brown, Henry Tonks and Wilson Steer. In 1908 she continued her art education, attending the Académie Colarossi in Paris. This was one of only two academies that admitted women and allowed them to draw from the nude male model, the other being the Academie Julien. In 1913 she went to Italy to study the Old Masters. After this she returned briefly to Guernsey but departed once again to study lithography at Chelsea Polytechnic.
Her most characteristic works were those depicting big cats, capturing their power and elegance, which we can clearly see from this 'Artwork of the Month'. Henderson studied these large cats from life, mostly at London Zoo, where she spent a lot of her time.
In 1928 she married Henri Baron de Coudenhove, widower of her elder sister and French Consul in Guernsey. In 1946 de Coudenhove died and Henderson then left the Island, returning to Sussex where she remained until her death.