David Hockney paints Beethoven on iPad to celebrate composer’s birthday

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David Hockney's iPad image
David Hockney has been creating art on iPad for years.
Photo: Apple

Apple Music teamed up with the iconic British artist David Hockney to create a portrait of Beethoven for the artist’s 250th birthday.

Hockney, whose painting “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” is the most expensive work of art by a living artist to ever sell at auction, created the Beethoven image using his trusty iPad.

“I have always been an admirer of Beethoven’s work which is why I chose to do this project,” Hockney told Apple. “The iPad painting is called ‘Beethoven After His First Symphony’ which he published in 1800 at 30 years old. It seemed fitting to celebrate his birthday by capturing him at that very significant moment in music history.”

To accompany the painting, there’s a time-lapse users can check out on the Apple Music page. It shows Hockney’s Beethoven image starting with a scan of a pencil doodle drawn by Hockney. He then paints over it on his iPad.

Along with the painting, the page also contains other content about Beethoven. This includes a selection of the best recordings of his work, and a short film on his work.

David Hockney and his iPad

David Hockney is no stranger to using his trusty iPad to create art. The now 83-year-old artist has been painting on his iPad since virtually the moment Apple released it. Dozens of his iPad works have now been exhibited, and bought by collectors. In 2018, Hockney was commissioned to design a new stained glass window at London’s renowned Westminster Abbey. This, too, was done on iPad.

Given his willingness to embrace the format, there’s no better choice of artist Apple could have gone with for this special Beethoven tribute. It’s a great reminder of how Apple continues to epitomize the intersection between technology and the liberal arts.

And, hey, isn’t it great to see Apple Music focus on classical music for a change? That’s pretty awesome in itself.