Lump: The Dog who ate a Picasso
David Douglas Duncan
Thames & Hudson, London, 2006
One spring morning in 1957, photojournalist David Douglas Duncan paid a visit to his friend and frequent subject Pablo Picasso, at the artist’s home near Cannes.
Alongside Duncan in his Mercedes Gullwing 300 SL was the photographer’s pet dachshund, Lump. When they arrived at Picasso’s Villa La Californie, Lump decided that he had found paradise on earth, and that he would move in with Picasso, whether the artist welcomed him or not.
This is the background for a totally original book that offers an uncommonly sensitive portrait of Picasso. Lump was immortalized in a Picasso portrait painted on a plate the day they met, but that was just the beginning. In a suite of forty-five paintings reinterpreting Velasquez’s masterpiece ‘Las Meninas’, Picasso replaced the impassive hound in the foreground with jaunty renderings of Lump.
Today all of those historic canvases are now the centerpiece exhibition in the Picasso Museum of Barcelona. Fourteen of the paintings are reproduced here in full colour, juxtaposed with Duncan’s dramatic and intimate black-and-white photographs of Picasso and Lump, bringing full circle the odyssey of a lucky dachshund who found his way to becoming a furry, super-stretched icon of modern art.