Newton, after William Blake - London, UK
Posted by: Cassandy
N 51° 31.743 W 000° 07.655
30U E 699236 N 5712571
Quick Description: Statue of Sir Isaac Newton by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi outside The British Library, London
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 8/25/2011 4:21:27 AM
Waymark Code: WMCDET
Long Description:The Sculpture
This bronze sculpture by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) entitled Newton, after William Blake, 1995, stands in the piazza of the British Library just off Euston Road.
As the title suggests, the pose of Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) is lifted straight out of the 1795 print by the British visionary poet and artist William Blake (1757-1827). Newton is deep in thought, crouched over a geometric construction with compass in hand. This is, however, a curious reference in that Blake was against the prevailing scientific materialism and what he saw as the enslavement of people through industrialisation.
Blake's original print has Newton at the bottom of the ocean fixated with his singular scientific point of view whilst ignoring the nature around him. But Blake himself places Newton in a posture reminiscent of The Ancient of Days (1794), or God as the Great Architect, thereby at least accepting the role of science as unveiling the structure of God's universe. Indeed, the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences acknowledges that the choice of subject matter caused some controversy, but that Paolozzi chose to focus on the fusion of British genius in the arts and sciences rather than on their contrasting philosophies – this is, after all, the British Library and not the Science Museum.
Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727 [NS: 4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727]) was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian.
His monograph Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, lays the foundations for most of classical mechanics. In this work, Newton described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, which dominated the scientific view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. Newton showed that the motions of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are governed by the same set of natural laws, by demonstrating the consistency between Kepler's laws of planetary motion and his theory of gravitation, thus removing the last doubts about heliocentrism and advancing the Scientific Revolution. The Principia is generally considered to be one of the most important scientific books ever written.