Newton's Sleep

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    Martin Beek, Oxfordshire Churches, and 12 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. richardr ages ago | reply

      "Now I a fourfold vision see,
      And a fourfold vision is given to me;
      ‘Tis fourfold in my supreme delight
      And threefold in soft Beulah’s night
      And twofold Always. May God us keep
      From Single vision & Newton’s Sleep!" (Blake)

      The sculpture in the British Library piazza was created by the sculptor Sir Eduardo Paolozzi. Born in 1924 in Leith in Scotland, Paolozzi studied at Edinburgh College of Art and the Slade and became a major figure in the British Pop Art movement in the 1950's. Paolozzi's sculpture for the new British Library building was inspired by William Blake's image of Sir Isaac Newton. Blake's saw Newton's materialistic way of looking at the universe (a somewhat ironic description given what we now know of Newton's mystical and alchemical propensities) as being fatal to poetic vision. The mechanical character of the figure shown here doesn't seem to originate with Blake though, but seems more likely to have Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in mind, presumably due to the perception of it being a cautionary tale against scientific hubris (again, not an especially accurate view, but never mind).

      A copy of Blake's original is here:

    2. Sir Cam @camdiary ages ago | reply

      Excellent composition. Great grey/blue colour combination.

    3. richardr ages ago | reply

      Thank you. It wasn't easy to filter out the surrounding buildings!

    4. Lynn Morag ages ago | reply

      Wow - great info ... some facts I didn't know in there...
      Good one!

      Literary Reference in Pictures
      We really appreciate any help in commenting on others in the group pool.

    5. Martin Beek ages ago | reply

      Great photo, although not much of a Paolozzi fan, but as someone who likes Blake this is worthwhile. Looks as if you g=had good weather and light for this, I just wonder where those good skies have gone today.

    6. richardr ages ago | reply

      Yes, from what I've seen of Paolozzi's other sculptures I'm not overly enamoured of his work myself. However, Blake and Shelley are both longstanding interests of mine. Yes, I am rather wondering what happened to the weather myself. Very odd.

    7. purple sense [deleted] ages ago | reply

      Blake is a great favourite of mine, also - I like the choice of verse for this photo. I think the sculpture is one of the better things about the new (now not-so-new!) British Library, which is pretty ugly and prison-like in my opinion.

    8. richardr ages ago | reply

      Yes, I can't say that I greatly care the building myself. How anyone could even think it would look tolerable alongside St Pancras Chambers is beyond me.

    9. Lincolnian (Brian) - BUSY, in and out ages ago | reply

      Nice capture, a strong image.

    10. richardr ages ago | reply

      Thanks Brian.

    11. R.i.c.a.r.d.o. ages ago | reply

      Very interesting. British history is so full with great minds, it really amazes me.

    12. richardr ages ago | reply

      Well, plenty of great figures in literature, science and philosophy. Rather fewer in fields like music.

    13. Guido Jan ages ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called mensculpture, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.

    14. James W Bell (Good Honest Iago) - Leeds ages ago | reply

      for just under 300 views the listing of favourites proves what a real quality image this is!

    15. richardr ages ago | reply


    16. dullhunk ages ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Dead Scientists Society, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.

    17. Martin Beek ages ago | reply

      Dear Richard I'm an admin for a group called Nineteenth Century English Poetry, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
      If you have others please add. Thanks, hope all well with you. Martin

    18. Martin Beek ages ago | reply

      Thank you Richard for your contributions, these are great.

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