Newton (Blake)



This artistic painting called Newton was created by William Blake, an english poet, painter, and printmaker, and completed in 1795. It is known as a monotype, or a printmaking that is painted or drawn on a non-absorbant surface. In this monotype, Isaac Newton is shown sitting, naked, on a rock covered with algae, or plant containg seaweed. By the earthy colors (blue, green, etc) in the art, we can conclude that he is under the sea. In his hand, is a compass and a pencil where he is drawing dimensions onto a scroll held by his mouth. His attention is focused on the diagrams shown on the scroll. William Blake created this painting in 1795 to convey Newton’s doubts of God and his obliviousness to God‘s creation of everything.

Blake described that through his painting by symbolizing that Newton was stuck in the circle that he drew with his compass. Meaning that he was so wrapped up with his thoughts and ideas, he could not see reason with Blake’s ideas and thoughts about imagination to step outside of his circle.  The compass symbolizes God. In the painting, Newton is surrounded by God‘s beautiful work, Nature, and is wrapped up in his personal bubble of science. Also the fact that Blake placed Newton at the bottom of the ocean speaks a lot about how he felt towards him. Blake felt very offensive towards Newton because Newton called his work of science “Natural philosophy”, while Blake thought that nature is like an imagination. Newton also refused to believe that God created everything that is beautiful and is nature, and Newton did not see that, because he is trying to find scientific reasoning for the creation of everything.

On a very slight note: This painting is like a resemblance to the arguments over religion today. This is because Blake disagreed with Newton on how to view of the world, so he decided to humilitate him with this painting from anger towards Isaac. Today, religion is likewise. Each religion is different, but there is always this one group will throw a tantrum towards other people’s beliefs leading to humilitation as well. For Example, through the media, or movies, etc.

This painting was so famous that it became the basis of Eduardo Paolozzi’s bronze sculpture in 1995:-

Bronze sculpture

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