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Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) natural philosopher and mathematician

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Downing Street

    Interpretation about this artwork is under review

    The Government Art Collection recognises its responsibility to artists, colleagues and all our audiences to represent the diversity of the UK and to embed anti-racist and equitable practices throughout our work. We are taking action to address inequality in the Collection and its interpretation.

    This painting may have been intended to decorate a public building such as a library. The numbers, seen to the lower left and lower right of the painting, suggest it was part of a series of similar portraits, which were hung in sequence around a room.

    To the left of the painting, the allegorical figure holding a stone tablet represents Philosophy and the figure to the right, with a pair of dividers, represents Geometry. The significance of the eagle to the left of the painting is not known. The depiction of Newton himself as a bust is based on a portrait bust by the sculptor Louis Francois Roubiliac (1702-1761) of 1751. However, Newton’s features, in particular his eyes, have been painted to appear life-like.

  • Explore
    Newton, Sir Isaac
    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) natural philosopher and mathematician
    Oil on canvas
    height: 75.50 cm, width: 137.00 cm
    Purchased from Frank T Sabin, May 1971
    bl: 6 ; br: 7 ; bc: ISAAC NEWTON / EQUES.
    GAC number