image newton s0018
Image number: RS.13600
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Sculpture bust of Sir Isaac Newton

Date

1737-1738

Sitter

Isaac Newton (1642-1727, British), Natural philosopher

Creator

Louis François Roubiliac (1695-1762, British), Sculptor

Object type

Archive reference number

Material

Dimensions

height (sculpture): 559mm
width (sculpture): 485mm
depth (sculpture): mm
height (pedestal): 125mm
width (pedestal): 193mm
depth (pedestal): 192mm

Subject

Description

Bust of Sir Isaac Newton depicted with short natural hair, head turned in three-quarter profile to the left as viewed. In classical style with draped shoulders. On a marble socle with a diagram showing the elliptical orbit of the planets in a cartouche and inscribed ‘NEWTON’.

Isaac Newton was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1672, he served as its President from 1703 to 1727.

Object history

Provenance: Donated by William Freman, FRS, 1738.

The donation is recorded in the Journal Book of the Royal Society, ‘The President informed the Society that he understood that Mr Freman had purchased a fine marble Bust of the late Sir Isaac Newton, with an intention of making a Present of it to the Society: and therefore, as it would be proper to consider beforehand of a suitable place in the Meeting Room, to set it up in, he proposed that Mr. Folkes with any other Gentleman he be pleased to join him, might be desired to consider it, and report their opinion to the Society.’ JBO/17 page 231-2, meeting 13 April 1738.

The commission of a pedestal for the bust is recorded in the Minutes of Council and assumes that the bust was with the Royal Society at that time, ‘The Following Bills were laid before the Council ‘Mr. Roubillac’s Bill for a Pedestal to Sr Isaac Newton’s Bust - - 2.7.0' CMO/3/79, 19 June 1738 page 194.

Associated place

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