Josep Fondevila was the nonagenarian innkeeper at Cal Tampanada, the modest lodging where Picasso and Fernande Olivier stayed in Gósol. Picasso liked him immediately, perhaps seeing in him a grandfatherly and approving figure as his relationship with Fernande deepened to something resembling a marriage. Fernande described Fondevila as "a fierce old fellow, a former smuggler, with a strange, wild beauty. He's over ninety but has kept his hair, and although his teeth are worn down to the gums, they are very white and not one of them is missing or has ever been damaged. He's difficult and cantankerous with everyone else but always good-humored with Pablo, whose portrait of him is very lifelike." According to Fernande, Picasso was "spell-bound as a child" listening to Fondevila's smuggling stories.
Inscription: Signed, upper left: Picasso
[Richard Dudensing II, New York, until 1952; sold in October 1952 to Knoedler]; [M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1952–53; sold on May 7, 1953, for $8,800 to Marx]; Samuel and Florene Marx, Chicago (1953–his d. 1964); Florene May Marx, later Mrs. Wolfgang Schoenborn, New York (1964–92; on extended loan to the Museum of Modern Art, New York from 1971; on extended loan to MMA from 1985; her gift to MMA)
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