A Grand Rendition of Beethoven. It Takes Up a Million Square Feet, in Fact.
ELLENVILLE, N.Y. — Roger Baker walked across Beethoven’s hair, down to the left eye and over to the right eye.
There is no question that Ludwig van Beethoven was a larger-than-life figure, one of the greatest composers of all time. And here, at the edge of the Catskills, Beethoven is very big indeed.
The canvas is a huge field where cows once grazed. The artist is a man who was inspired while listening to Beethoven’s piano sonatas on long-playing records that he found at a yard sale. His tools include four tractors.
“Beethoven’s got great hair — what can I tell you?” said Mr. Baker, who is a commercial artist and sculptor when he is not creating colossal portraits in grass. “His hair is timeless. It was good back then, and it would go good today. Great image. When you see a picture of Beethoven, you just know who it is. You look at that scowling face, you think, dun-dun-dun-DUH.” There was no mistaking the famous four-note opening of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 (Op. 67), even as he insisted he could not carry a tune.