Paolozzi’s Master of the Universe in Edinburgh

There’s something about this statue that always makes me stop, look, and walk all the way around. Granted, it’s by the gate on the path between the two halves of the Scottish Modern Art Museum in Edinburgh, but there are other sculptures you pass too, yet none of them captivate me so.

By Eduardo Paolozzi, it’s called “Master of the Universe” and is based on a drawing by William Blake of Isaac Newton. I enjoy the realism-meets-Frakenstein’s-steampunk-monster, the divided and rejoined, geometric vs natural shapes.


Paolozzi statue in Edinburgh

I also love the lettering on the gate … a quirky divide that always makes me smile., and a reminder that functional (it’s just the name of the place) need not be dull.

Visiting Scottish National Museum of Modern Art

Scottish National Museum of Modern Art gate

I do wonder if anyone’s ever fallen over the Gormley statue. Not only is it “sunk” into the pavement but its colour means it merges visually.

Gormley statue in Edinburgh

I was at the museum for the Joan Eardley exhibition. If you get a chance, you should go see it!




3 Replies to “Paolozzi’s Master of the Universe in Edinburgh”

  1. I’ve seen the Anthony Gormley’s ‘Another Place’, where the statues are the same as your sunken man. In places they have slipped deeper into the sand, quite eerie as the tide comes in and all these men are just watching with sightless eyes as the water rises up around them.

  2. Marion.. Thank you for sharing. I love the wrap around lettering. The statue looks playful and a little scary at the same time. My hope is that someday, I can observe it in person! ?

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