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Out of the dark and into the light: Acclaimed doctors on an iconic portrait and their lifelong battle against cancer

Published on 22 November 2017 back to previous

OVER 15 years, it has become one of the most iconic paintings in one of Scotland’s most famous galleries.

The Three Oncologists has fascinated visitors to the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh since being completed by artist Ken Currie in 2002.

The red-rimmed eyes of three of Scotland’s leading cancer specialists look out of the vast painting as they prepare to go into the darkness.

Currie – one of the acclaimed New Glasgow Boys – created the masterpiece after watching them in the operating theatre and lab. Two of the professors, Sir Alfred Cuschieri and Robert Steele, are surgeons trained to attack cancer by cutting it out.

The third, Professor Sir David Lane, is credited with the landmark discovery of a cancer gene.

He helped inspire the artist’s vision after suggesting that many patients spoke of cancer as a darkness and that it  was the role of the surgeon to go in and, hopefully, bring them back into the light.

The trio all worked together at Ninewells Hospital and Dundee University, helping to lift the Tayside institutions to world prominence.

Here, 15 years after their portrait was unveiled, we speak to them.

Click here to read the full article sourced from Sunday Post.
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