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Great Artists’ Dachshund Muses

Souvenir luncheon plate painted by Pablo Picasso, 1957, photo by Pete Smith/ Lewis Art Cafe.

Animals

Great Artists’ Dachshund Muses

Did you know that some of the world’s most celebrated artists and performers have been dachshund owners? This extensive list of elite creatives includes Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Kelsey Grammar, Leonard Nimoy, Marylin Monroe, Marlin Brando, Pierre Bonnard… and the list goes on and on!!

We cannot say with certainty what it was that attracted these creative minds to this glorious German breed. Perhaps it is their famous long and low silhouette, or it is their fierce loyalty, or maybe it is the look of complete defiance in their ever-alert eyes. Dachshunds have consistently featured in the American Kennel Club’s top 10 most popular breeds. As an owner of two adorable dachshunds, I can confirm that nothing brings me more joy than being wrapped around the little paws of these tiny stubborn creatures.

Here is a look at three famous artist dachshund owners in art history…

Andy Warhol


Though Andy Warhol had grown up with cats, sometime in 1973 he was convinced by his boyfriend to get a dog. Very soon after, Archie came into Warhol’s life and completely took over! The dachshund accompanied Warhol to his studio, art openings, and restaurants. Warhol took Archie to interviews and press conferences and even passed on questions to Archie that he didn’t want to answer. The dog, very much like his master, sat there quiet and observant.  

Andy Warhol with his miniature Dachshund, Archie.
Great Artists’ Dachshund Muses: Andy Warhol with Archie. Source: Whitney Museum of American Art.

Warhol once refused to travel to London because it would require either leaving Archie behind or subjecting him to six months of quarantine in England. The pair were truly inseparable! Warhol eventually added a second miniature dachshund called Amos to his pack.

Screenprint of Maurice, dog of  Gabrielle Keiller, Andy Warhol, Dachshund portrait
Andy Warhol, Portrait of Maurice (Dog of Gabrielle Keiller), ca. 1976. National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.

Pablo Picasso


Lump belonged to Pablo Picasso’s friend and photographer, David Douglas Duncan, and met Picasso in April 1957 during a visit to his home. Duncan described the meeting as a love affair! Though Picasso had other dogs, he was completely taken in by Lump and would hold him in his arms and feed him by hand. He doted on Lump who spent the rest of his life with Picasso and featured in many of his paintings.

Picasso with Lump, his dog, dachshund
Great Artists’ Dachshund Muses: Picasso & Lump, source: David Douglas Duncan, Picasso & Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey.

Duncan wrote a book in 2006, called “Picasso & Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey” that features professional photographs of Picasso and Lump and gives an insight into Picasso’s later years. 


Lump lived a long and pampered life at Picasso’s hillside mansion in Cannes and died ten days before Picasso.

Pablo Picasso, Las Meninas
Pablo Picasso, Las Meninas, 1957, Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Spain.

David Hockney

The influential British artist and important proponent of the pop movement was also a dachshund owner! David Hockney owned two miniature dachshunds, Stanley and Boodgie, in his home in Los Angeles. Hockney’s two adorable companions inspired the successful exhibition and the subsequent book “Dog Days“.


Though it was a major departure from his usual subject matter, this extensive study of the two dachshunds enjoyed immense popularity and great success. 

Hockney with his two dachshunds, surrounded by canvases of his two dogs.
Great Artists’ Dachshund Muses: David Hockney with Stanley and Boodgie. Source: Artnimals.

Hockney set up easels at varying heights all over his house. He would paint the dogs in different settings inspired by their activities. The paintings most frequently featured the dogs as they napped (a dachshund’s most favored hobby when they are not hunting critters). A mere glance at these paintings confirms the intimate quality of the portraits and serves as a testament of how cherished these dogs were.

Sleeping dogs, David Hockney
David Hockey, Dog Painting 22, ca. 1955, The David Hockney Foundation.

Dachshund Muses


Finally, as any proud dachshund owner would, I must also present to you my own dachshund muses. Here are my 12-year-old puppies, Chloe and Putin…

Dachschund Dogs
Chloe and Putin in Los Angeles. Author’s Photograph.

Read more about animals in art history:

Art, history, mythology, and dachshund enthusiast from New Delhi, based in Los Angeles.

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