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This symbolic figure of the seventeenth century scientist Sir Isaac Newton is a remarkable tribute from one artist to another. Paolozzi's sculpture is a version of Blake's Colour Print, Newton, which is displayed nearby. Paolozzi has often explored in his sculpture the relation between the mechanical and the imaginative, and has invented new images linking robots to works of art. In his first Newton, a small relief sculpture, Newton's body looked partly bolted together, as if the scientist who discovered the laws of nature were himself a machine. For the forecourt of the new British Library, Paolozzi designed a huge, free-standing Newton. The bronze shown here was cast from the model made to show the Library committee.

August 2004