Whovians, who can forget the “Vincent and the Doctor” episode of Doctor Who, where the Doctor and Amy go back to 1890 to help poor Van Gogh sort some alien ish out? Doesn’t it just break your heart, and make it soar like a TARDIS, all at the same time?
But want to know a little secret? The Doctor’s encounters with famous artists were oh-so-many. The Doctor had a bit of an obsession, ya know? Wondering how all those mystery TARDISes and Doctors made their way into famous paintings? Wonder no more. Mystery solved!
The Sistine Chapel – Michelangelo
In 1506, while Michelangelo worked countless nights on the ceiling of The Sistine Chapel, it had become apparent that his commission to paint the Chapel (painting being something he wasn’t as fond of as sculpture and architecture) was the result of jealousy. Donato Bramante, an Italian architect who resented Michelangelo, had already begun his plot to take Michelangelo down. Things got pretty sta-raaange, when Michelangelo confronted Bramante, and he seemed a bit out of this world. Yep, Bramante was no more than a body-print, a Zygon hell-bent on living his aspiring artist dreams — huh, weird. Michelangelo? His next victim.
So when Pope Julius II left to deal with the war with the French, Michelangelo didn’t flee because he didn’t want to finish The Sistine Chapel. He fled because, well, ZYGONS, people! ZYGONS! That’s when the Doctor stepped right in. Defeating the Zygons, and convincing good ol’ Mickey (‘angelo, not the other Mickey) to get back to his masterpiece. And that’s how our beloved Doctor nabbed a spot on The Sistine Chapel ceiling, as did his lovely blue police box.
The Last Supper – Leonardo DaVinci
A very curious Clara was given the choice of seeing anything, anywhere, any time, as a birthday present from the Doctor. So, naturally, she chooses the point in space and time when Leonardo DaVinci painted The Last Supper. Geronimo! Hello Milan, 1495. But (there’s always a but!), they find Leo in a strangely giddy state. Turns out he’s been driven mad by statues that’ve recently appeared in the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where he’s meticulously working on the painting.
Statues? We all know what that means — weeping angels! Driven nearly to madness, Leo accepts the Doctor and Clara’s help ridding the monastery of them, so he can return to his work. Let’s just say he was very grateful. I mean, is that John the Apostle, or is that Mary Magdalene sitting next to Jesus Christ? No, guys, it’s Clara, and she’s not quite sure how she feels about it. And yes, that’s the police box you see in the distance — paintings are cool!
Guernica – Pablo Picasso
While traveling, the Doctor finds out that Pablo Picasso’s famous painting has gone missing. Vanished from the face of the Earth. The Doctor believes there’s foul play here, and something a little off-kilter with time and space. He goes back to 1937 Paris, to find Picasso before it’s too late. Did something happen to stop him from painting the Guernica? Um, yeah. Someone by the name of “The Master.” Gosh, Master, when will you give it up?
A fan of war and annihilation, The Master was sending the Doctor a little message by making sure Picasso’s Guernica, which brought put a spotlight on the tragedies of war, never saw the light of day. He was all, like, “Please, war’s the bomb,” and Picasso was like, “I don’t know, dude. I think you’re wrong.” Yeah, this is how they spoke in 1937 Paris. I swear. And the Doctor being all “I’m the universe’s savior” was not having it. So he takes on getting The Master out of Picasso’s face, so Picasso can complete his masterpiece.
But, the Doctor’s TARDIS makes it into the painting, but maybe not as a thank you, and more as a… dun, dun, DUN… hint to the Doctor’s role in the Time War. Oh, snap!