Vida de Picasso: ¿Quién fue David Douglas Duncan?

David Douglas Duncan. Primera visita a Picasso en La Californie. 1956
David Douglas Duncan. Primera visita a Picasso en La Californie. 1956
© Sucesión Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid, 2023

Born in 1916 in Kansas City, Missouri, David Douglas Duncan began his professional career as a war reporter during World War II. As part of the United States Marine Corps, Duncan found his passion for photography while documenting the horrors of the conflict. After his military service, he was hired by the prestigious Life magazine in 1946, where he became a leading photojournalist. His talent led him to cover various war conflicts around the world.

In 1956, Duncan left his job at Life and joined Collier's magazine. However, his career at this publication was cut short when the company declared bankruptcy at the end of the same year. From that moment on, he decided to set out on his own as a freelance photographer.

At this stage of his life, in the spring of 1956, Duncan's life intersected with that of Picasso. The opportunity to meet the famous artist arose thanks to war reporter Robert Capa's promise to introduce them, although, unfortunately, his untimely death in the Indochina War prevented this from being fulfilled. However, Duncan did not miss the opportunity and, during a trip to Morocco, decided to stop in the French Riviera and knock on the door of La Californie, Picasso's house in Cannes (France). With the excuse of being a friend of Capa, he was kindly received by Jacqueline, Picasso's wife. That same day, Duncan took the famous photograph of the artist waving to the camera from the bathtub.

Thus began his close friendship with the celebrated painter, which lasted for seventeen years, until Picasso's death in 1973. The images Duncan took of Picasso throughout their friendship captured everyday scenes of Picasso with his family, especially Jacqueline, his last wife, and friends. The photographs documented the painter's creative process and served to provide exceptional accounts of both his personal and artistic sides. These photographs are a window into the artist's intimacy, allowing us to appreciate his daily life and his relationship with those around him, while showing the development and evolution of his art.


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