Apparently Hindemith seized every opportunity to draw, from early childhood until his last December, when he completed that year’s entry in a series of Christmas cards that spanned more than 20 years.
He used any medium that came to hand—including menus, advertisements, and paper napkins—and clearly never considered his drawings to be very important; they were carelessly preserved, and almost never dated or titled.
Most of Hindemith’s drawings are whimsical, often to the point of grotesquerie. He characteristically filled all the available space, often with impossible conglomerations of people, animals, and machines. The richness of his ideas and the skill of their expression bear witness to a truly original talent.
This according to Paul Hindemith: Der Komponist als Zeichner/Paul Hindemith: The composer as graphic artist (Zürich: Atlantis, 1995).
Below, part of Hindemith’s tribute to a great visual artist—the Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald. Herbert Blomstedt conducts the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester in Grablegung, the second movement of Symphony: Mathis Der Maler.
BONUS: Hindemith must have rotated the above drawing several times as he worked on it; it can therefore be viewed with any edge on top. Copy it into a picture editor and rotate it yourself to see the four different angles!