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Picasso and the rascal

An unlikely pair’s 17-year friendship is immortalised by art.

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Picasso and the rascal

In 1957, David Douglas Duncan, the photojournalist who documented Picasso’s life for over 15 years, and Lump, his small Dachshund, visited Picasso at Villa La Californie, in the French Riviera. Lump (pronounced: loomp; German for ‘rascal’) was so taken by the artist and his place that it was decided the villa would be his home whilst Duncan was travelling on war assignments. Lump stayed for six years.

The bond between Pablo Picasso and Lump was immediate, unexpected (Picasso had never been specially interested in his other dogs before), and the Dachshund was immortalised by the maestro in his many interpretations of the Velazquez’s masterpiece Las Meninas; the short-legged, long-bodied Lump replacing the hound painted in the 1656 original, a sign to us of Picasso’s wicked sense of humour.

Described by Duncan as ‘sensitive and complex’, Lump was allowed into Picasso’s studio as the artist was working. Jacqueline, Picasso’s second wife, was the only other being given this privilege.

It’s a mystery what makes a friendship last.
Both Picasso and Lump died in April 1973, just a week apart.


All mages from Picasso and Lump by David Douglas Duncan
The book includes more than fifty black and white photographs of their endearing relationship

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