Rob Couteau poetry


Diane Donovan, Senior Editor, Midwest Book Review (May 2022):

A Blind Man Crazy for Color: A Tribute to Léon Angély documents an early 20th century retired clerk who collected art by Picasso, Modigliani, and Utrillo before these artists were famous. Despite his failing vision, Léon Angély could see the promise of these artists before those around him acknowledged their talents. He employed a young girl to help him make his selections when his sight no longer permitted him to personally enjoy them.

The book is illustrated with original artwork by Picasso's model and muse, Sylvette David, who posed for the painter in 1954 when she was only nineteen years old. Her black and white and color sketches accent this colorful portrait of Léon's life, motivations, involvement in the art world, and the pieces he collected. Previously unpublished information about the blind man's passion and his influence on the art world enhances a survey that should be required reading and acquisition for any serious art history student and the libraries catering to them.

The well-researched treatise is supported by documentation that ranges from birth and death certificates to Rob Couteau's personal research into Sylvette David who, at eighty-seven, adds her memories to the story to expand reader insights about both Picasso and David's life and their art involvements.

Readers also receive revealing inspections of the process of interviewing artists and capturing their historical and artistic impact, adding to A Blind Man Crazy for Color's importance as a survey that goes beyond a singular biography of an art enthusiast to delve into the world of artists, art appreciation, and muses. The blend of all these elements demonstrates the interlinked potentials and importance of artists, muses, and those who appreciate, purchase, and analyze their work:

"Although he died impoverished and nearly forgotten, and although the identity of his youthful guide is still enshrouded in mystery, le Père Angély helped to preserve what Richardson calls the “sacred stuff of art” – regardless of whether his motivation was merely pecuniary. Léon and Joséphine may also have inspired the greatest artist of the twentieth century."

Serious art libraries should consider this extraordinary recreation of artistic ambitions against all odds a mainstay that stands out in many different ways.

-- Diane Donovan, Senior Editor, Midwest Book Review


Distributed by IngramSpark. ISBN 978-1-7360049-9-9. For more information contact