Reimagining Art History As Science Fiction

Irene Gallo of Tor Books put together a great selection of science fiction works of art which reference famous paintings and prints like John Mattos’ fantastic C-3PO upgrade of Marcel Duchamp’s groundbreaking cubist/futurist Nude Descending a Staircase. Sidenote: I’ve seen that painting of Duchamp’s up close in Philly, and man was it even stranger and dissettlingly awesome in person, in no small part because the nude figure is about the same height as you when you look at it, and they hanged it at just the right height to seem like this creepy figure was nearing the end of the staircase and coming right at you. Nightmare fuel.

We’ve collected our ten favorites along the famous works they reference (plus a bonus picture) from Irene Gallo’s gallery at Tor Books starting on the next page. Thanks to Neatorama for the assist.

Here’s a closer look at John Mattos‘ C-3PO and the Duchamp work which inspired it:

And here’s another by John Mattos, placing the Cantina band from Star Wars into Pablo Picasso’s Three Musicians:

Cyril van der Haegen adds some much-needed Cthulhu to N. C. Wyeth’s The Giant:

Michael Whelan created this version of Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps for the book Hoka Poul Anderson and Gordon R. Dickson:

Luke Radi made this Halloween remix of Norman Rockwell’s The Runaway:

Carlos Pacheco‘s DC Comics cover art based on Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want:

SNIKT! Paolo Rivera‘s Wolverine remix of Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory:

Ryan Pancoast made a zombie apocalypse version John Trumbull’s Death of General Mercer at the Battle of Princeton for the cover of Michael Stackpole’s At the Queen’s Command:

This wasn’t in Tor’s list, but it belongs here:


Dave Seeley references Michelangelo’s Pietá for this Star Wars book cover:

See the rest at Tor Books.