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The Eight

Jeanette M. Smith, MD
JAMA. 2013;309(22):2305. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1600.
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's enduring character, the eagle-eyed Sherlock Holmes, has captivated readers for generations who may not realize that Doyle also rendered services as a physician. Another Victorian era personage with an alter ego was avant-garde artist Cyril E. Power (1872-1951), perhaps better known for luminous linocuts (involving printmaking with patterns cut in linoleum) than his accomplishments in architecture.

Born in Chelsea, London, Power received encouragement in drawing at a young age. His sketches included medieval structures and oarsmen, auguring his interests in years ahead. Power followed in the path set before him by his architect father and grandfather, learning the craft in the office of his father. His ability in architecture received recognition with the Soane Medallion (awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects), and he authored exquisitely illustrated books on English medieval architecture, but this career impetus would ebb with the onset of World War I.

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Cyril E. Power (1872-1951), The Eight, circa 1930, English. Color linocut. 31.5 × 23.2 cm. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (http://www.mfa.org/), Boston, Massachusetts; gift of Johanna and Leslie Garfield, 2005.1103. Photograph © 2013 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.



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