Newton William Blake Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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William Blake painted the famous scientist Isaac Newton in 1795 to convey Newton's strict concepts on science, which ruled his life. Blake was against the scientist's reductive scientific approach. Newton is currently a collection of the Tate Museum in London, England.

In the drawing, Isaac Newton is crouched naked on a rock surrounded by darkness stuck on a circle that he drew with his compass. Blake used the illustration to describe how the scientist was soo wrapped into his ideas, imaginations, and thoughts that he couldn't step out of the circle and his doubts of God. The compass resembles sun rays and represented an instrument that clips the wings of imaginations. The rock covered with algae and living organisms stands for nature, where human inventions get a true reflection.

Newton seems so absorbed into his diagrams and blind to the beautiful rock behind him. Blake used this to show how much God's beautiful work and nature surrounded Newton but still chose to remain in his scientific imaginations. The dark surroundings represent the bottom of the sea depicting Newton's ignorance of the world and his distancing from the light of the truth. The image portrays newton at the bottom of an ocean, speaking a lot of how the artist viewed him as a lonely person surrounded by no one. In his image, Blake portrays Newton as a young and muscular individual rather than an old figure with popular scientific imaginations.

Blake used color print, ink, and water courant on paper and adopted a symbolic or satiric camouflage to conceal his fierce intent to portray an idea form of Newton. He also used straight lines and sharp angles to mark Newton's body representing his repressive spirit. Blake believed that nature is merely some imaginations, and Newton called science Natural Philosophy. It made Blake feel offended and bitter towards the scientist, considering his strong disbelief in science. He, therefore, downgraded Newton by representing him in this painting, conveying a much deeper meaning, and a huge message to depict him as a misguided hero focused on the wrong aspects of life.

The artist has an extensive collection of drawings, including the "Songs of innocence and experience," The Ancient of Days, "Pity," and "The parable of the wise and foolish virgins." Others include "The great red dragon and the woman clothed in the sun" and "The Angles hovering over the body of Christ in the Sepulchre," among others.

Newton in Detail William Blake