Lumpito: Not a Doormat

Pablo Picasso and women.

A seemingly innocuous statement that belies the artist’s charged history with the opposite gender. The same man who said,  “Women are machines for suffering,” also said, “For me there are only two kinds of women: Goddesses and doormats.”

Jacqueline Roque, Picasso’s second wife, fatally shot herself. Marie-Thérèse Walter, Picasso’s young lover between his first wife, Olga Khokhlova, and his next mistress, Dora Maar, hung herself.  Francoise Gilot left Picasso after a ten year affair, and is the only lover to ever leave the artist. The artist was survived by four children from three different women. Marina Picasso, one of Picasso’s granddaughters, said of her grandfather’s relationship with women: “He submitted them to his animal sexuality, tamed them, bewitched them, ingested them, and crushed them onto his canvas. After he had spent many nights extracting their essence, once they were bled dry, he would dispose of them.”

Happily, Picasso’s dogs fared better, and it’s said that the only animal Picasso ever took in his arms was his Dachshund, “Lump,” (pronounced: loomp, German for ‘rascal’). The Dachshie was also likely the only dog in Picasso’s life to have made a decision for the man with or without his consent; when David Douglas Duncan, a photojournalist who documented Picasso’s life for over 15 years visited the artist and brought his dog, Lump,” along, the dog decided to stay. For six years.

“Lumpito,” as Picasso called him, was allowed into Picasso’s studio even as the artist worked, such was their bond. The only other entity allowed this privilege was Picasso’s second wife, Jacqueline (of whom he painted 400 portraits, more than any of Picasso’s other loves).  As with his Afghan Hounds, Picasso incorporated Lump into many of his paintings, including his interpretations of Velazquez’s Las Meninas, the stumpy Lump replacing the hound that appeared in the 17th century original. Compare and contrast:

David Douglas Duncan,Dachshund,Lump, Pablo Picasso,Marie-Thérèse

Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez


David Douglas Duncan,Dachshund,Lump, Pablo Picasso,Marie-Thérèse

Las Meninas as interpreted by Picasso

Both Picasso and Lump died in April 1973 just a week apart.

The little-known story of Pablo Picasso and Lump as told by the photojournalist,David Douglas Duncan, may be purchased here. It is from this book that the photo of Lump and Picasso comes.

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