Chateau Mouton Rothschild, a label like no other
I have visited The Vatican and looked up at the ‘Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel’ painted by Michelangelo, I have also visited The Louvre in Paris and seen the Mona Lisa, both of which are some of the most awe inspiring pieces of art I believe I will ever witness. Then there is Picasso, the artist that pushed boundaries and constantly evolved his style through prolific works. I have looked at ‘The Three Dancers’ a vast painting - over 2 meters tall by 1.4 meters wide and my absolute favourite ‘The Weeping Woman’; everything about this painting I love. The size of it, the vibrant colours in contrast to the subject, the line work the intense distress you feel coming out of the painting, it is stunning. Some may disagree, but that is the whole point of art…it is subjective. Now, I am not saying that Da Vinci or Michelangelo are not amazing artists as of course they were one hundred percent, ‘The Creation of Adam and the Statue of ‘David’ are some of the most famous pieces in the world. Picasso however, for me explored areas that were previously undiscovered in terms of creating or evoking emotion, he is one of my all time greats and his ever changing style, passion for communication and determination inspire me and my artistic career.
Picasso also teamed up with Baron Phillip de Rothschild who became a Grand Prix race-car driver, worked in theatre and film production, was a screenwriter, poet and also happened to become one of the most successful wine growers in the world. He was the one that came up with the idea of artwork appearing on the wines labels created by relevant famous artists. This was to become a significant part of the wine and its history, as still to this day artists create the famous Chateau Mouton Rothschild label, with exception of the 1953 label which celebrated the one hundredth birthday of the acquisition of Chateau Mouton. There are some really big names that everyone is familiar with on the list, (even Prince Charles created a label) but other artists include Georges Braque, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Lucien Freud and of course Pablo Picasso who sadly died the same year his label was released in 1973 and it was released after his death in memory.
Discovering Mouton Rothschild for me was fantastic, I have never tasted the wine and cannot imagine I ever will but from the eye of an artist and designer it was great to see wine labels with such free artistic expression. Now I do not have to tell you how valuable or sought after these wines are but what I will do is tell you my top three labels and why it is I love them.
1963 - Bernard Dufour
This image is great, the vibrant colours is what hits me first. A bright orange/red with a grassy green background, the colours compliment each other perfectly as red and green are opposing on the colour wheel. The rough figure of a woman lays on her back whilst holding a bunch of grapes, she is holding them above her mouth as if she is just about to eat them, there is joy on her face and the colours only help exaggerate this. Her body also can be perceived as a sloping mountain or rock scape in the distance with trees or hills behind them, it glares happiness, joy and pure indulgence and this is why I love this label.
1973 – Pablo Picasso
Picasso’s label titled ‘Bacchanale’ represents an orgiastic musical composition. Works with this title have been created before and often run the same theme of naked dancers playing instruments and freely expressing themselves. What I love about this label is the looseness and scantiness of it. It is free flowing and expresses a feeling of excitement, enlightenment and pure enjoyment. I can almost hear the music whilst looking at it. The characters in this image really are letting go and giving themselves up to the music. The figure on the right barley even resembling a human, it appears to me as if he or she is doing a handstand whilst the figure in the middle looks as if he is about to jump having raised one leg. For me I take the label as representing the wine, pure enjoyment, to get excited over and lose yourself in it, as once it’s over…it’s over.
1986 – Bernard Séjourné
Three floating heads, two facing you and one turned away whilst hollowed out, to some that may sound pretty horrific but the label comes across quite calm and tranquil. I had never heard of Séjourné’s work before until I discovered this label and I love it. It is surreal and playful. A lot of his works involves floating heads or women with unusually long necks and again until you see his work it all sounds a bit bizarre, but I have to tell you it isn’t. It is beautiful, such dream like ghostly qualities to his paintings they are both eerie and fascinating at the same time. I love this label because the joyful faces of the figures are juxtaposed with the fact that they are floating on a black background. From this label I see three women dancing in a circle on a moonlight night, it is playful and a little creepy but great none the less.