Sunday, December 2, 2018

Mouton Rothschild Wine Label Art Series

Mouton Rothschild Wine Label Art Series

A study in wine branding and marketing at some point invites a discussion of art label series featuring original or reproductions of notable art or artists on the wine labels. No wine producer in the world captures the imagination or attention of wine collectors and wine art enthusiasts more than Mouton Rothschild with their annual artist series artist featured wine label.

Each year a renowned artist is commissioned to do the artwork for that vintage. The featured artist is said to be paid ten cases of various vintages of the classic Chateau Mouton Rothschild for their work. Every collector dreams of collecting a 'vertical' collection (wines of multiple vintages of the same wine) of the classic premium First Growth Bordeaux to display the 'artwork' of Mouton.

Mouton Rothschild Artist Labels have been produced by the world's most famous contemporary artists, Chagall (1970, Dali (1958), Picasso (1973), Miro (1969), Andy Warhol (1975), as well as other luminaries such as Prince Charles (2004) and Hollywood director John Huston (1982). Many other producers have established artist series, but there is only one Mouton Rothschild.

In 1945, Baron Philippe de Rothschild conceived the original idea of crowning the Mouton label with a work of art created for this purpose by famous artists; these have included paintings by Miró, Chagall, Braque, Picasso, Warhol, Bacon, Balthus, amongst others.

Since then, only 4 vintages have not had Artist's labels: 1953 which celebrated the initial purchase of the Mouton property, 1977 when the Queen Mother stayed at Mouton and the Baron dedicated that year's vintage to her, 2000 where the label is enameled in gold with a reproduction of Jakob Schenauer's Augsburg Ram (below), and 2003 which is devoted to Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild depicted in a period photograph celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1853 acquisition of the Mouton estate by the family. These are all shown on my legacy Mouton Rothschild Art Label Library.

The official library is presented on the original Mouton Rothschild Official Label Art Site.

My Winesite Label Library lists the Mouton Rothschild Label Library Series Artists and associated works by the artists for reference or to aid in further exploration or research of the library and its history: 

Alpha Listing of Mouton Rothschild Label Artists

Chronological list of Mouton Rothschild artists with links to Wikipedia profiles and other artwork by Mouton Rothschild selected artists.

Mouton Rothschild Label Library

Mouton Rothschild 2015 Label Artist Gerhard Richter 

The 2015 Mouton Rothschild label is now emerging in distribution and Fine Wine retailers.

The 2015 label was designed by German artist Gerhard Richter who is well known for a broad portfolio of paintings, abstracts, photographs and paintings on photographs dating back to 1962.

Since the mid 1980's he has created more than 2,000 Overpainted Photographs. His creation for the Mouton label is an abstract 'photo painting' using a unique 'flux' technique that combines photography and painting. The technique, involves spreading enamel paint on a plate of plexiglass which is then pressed against a glass plate. For the design, he photographed the fluctuating colours at the point he considered the composition to be 'momentarily harmonious'. The completed work consists of the one plate affixed of top of the other. His abstract style has been likened to famous artists including Picasso.

This year's artist and deign were chosen by Camille and Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, the next-generation owners of the famous wine estate.
Richter was born in Germany in 1932. His 1986 painting ‘Abstraktes Bild’ set a record auction price for a work by a living artist in October 2015, when it sold at Sotheby’s for over $40 million.

Earlier Mouton Rothschild Artist Label Library:

Mouton Rothschild 2014 Artist Label by David Hockney

British contemporary artist David Hockney, a longtime personal friend of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild designed the 2014 Mouton Rothschild label. It depicts a drawing of two wine glasses seemingly floating on a cloud, one full and one empty. 

According to the estate, the pair of glasses symbolizes the ‘constantly renewed miracle of the birth of a great wine’.

Above the wine glasses are the words ‘In tribute to Philippine’ in honor of the owner.
Hockney, a leader of the 20th Century pop art movement was recently featured in an exhibition at the Royal Academy in London.
Hockney, age 80, was born in 1937 in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Hockney is the fifth British artist to design a Mouton label, following Lucien Freud in 2006, Prince Charles in 2004, Francis Bacon in 1990 and Henry Moore in 1964.

Mouton Rothschild 2013 Artist Label by Lee Ufan

Château Mouton Rothschild selected reputed minimalist painter and sculptor Lee Ufan to design the label of the 2013 vintage release. This year's label design was selected by Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, son of the Baroness Philippine Rothschild, who passed away at 80 years of age, August 22, 2014.

Korean born Lee Ufan moved to Japan in 1956 where he studied philosophy and art. Ufan's  minimalist style is reflected in the design for the 2013 Mouton Rothschild label which shows shades of deepening purple that evoke the colors of the wine.

Lee Ufan works of art can be found in some of the most important museums in the world including: MoMA, New York, The Guggenheim Museum, New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, The Tate Gallery, London; and the National Museums of Modern Art in Tokyo Japan.

Mouton Rothschild 2012 Artist Label by Miquel-Barcelo

The 2012 label was designed by Spanish abstract artist Miquel Barceló who used the château’s emblem, the ram, as a highlight and focal point for the work. The label features a watercolour abstract representation of two rutting rams standing on their hind legs set against a muted background of a green pasture amidst a blue sky and white clouds.  

Considered one of the most influential living Spanish artists, born in Felanitx, Majorca, the 57-year-old has had his work exhibited at the Paris Museum of Modern Art and the Louvre. He also works in sculpture, drawing, ceramics and cast iron, in addition to painting.

One of his most noted works, is the Miquel Barceló decorated ceiling of the Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room, used by the United Nations Human Rights Council, in the Palace of Nations in Geneva. The work of art is a massive sculptural installation in the domed ceiling, officially presented to the United Nations by the Spanish government. The chamber was inaugurated by the King and Queen of Spain, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the prime ministers of Spain and Turkey, and Swiss president Pascal Couchepin. The massive 16,000 ft ² (1,500 m²) project used 100 tons of paint, took a year to produce and cost $23 million.

Mouton Rothschild 2011 Artist Label by Guy de Rougemont

Guy de Rougemont, a member of the Academy des Beaux Arts, follows a trio of Chinese, American and British painters commissioned for the annual vintage label. 
He is the first Frenchman to design the label since Bernard Venet in 2007. His design is intended to represent the evolution of vines and wine during their early years of life, according to the first-growth Chateau.
‘Guy de Rougemont is an old friend of mine,’ Chateau owner Baroness de Rothschild told ‘We first met when I was 18 years old, and I have followed his career ever since.’
De Rougemont is known for his huge frescoes in public places, such as the forecourt of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, but also his sculptures and modern geometric-styled furniture.
His is the first label commissioned since Mouton Rothschild opened a gallery to house all original art work dating back to when Baron Philippe de Rothschild asked Jean Carlu to design a vintage label in 1924.


The 2011 label features brightly colored "sinuous, random" undulating shapes, in a style attributable to French artist Guy de Rougemont. Chateau Mouton Rothschild says the artwork encompasses "the clarity of vines in sunshine to the darkness of the cellars – all the stages of the birth of a great wine."

According to Chateau owner Baroness de Rothschild, ‘Guy de Rougemont is an old friend of mine. We first met when I was 18 years old, and I have followed his career ever since.’

De Rougemont is known for huge frescoes in public places including the forecourt of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. He also has produced sculptures and modern geometric-shaped furniture.

Mouton Rothschild label and other art by Guy de Rougemont.

Mouton Rothschild 2010 Artist Label by Jeff Koons

The 2010 label was designed by Jeff Koons, Pennsylvania-born sculptor known for his reproductions of objects like giant, shiny balloon dog sculptures made out of colored stainless steel. Influenced by both Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, his design mixes classical with contemporary and a hint of whimsical humor - a ancient Pompeii fresco of 'The Birth of Venus' with a silver line drawing of a ship sailing under a bright sun.

A former commodities broker, Koons was at one point the world’s most expensive living artist. In 1997, his work Puppy, a giant dog covered in bright flowers, was installed at the entrance to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. In 2008, 17 of his works were featured in an exhibition at the Château de Versailles.

Mouton Rothschild label and other artwork by Jeff Koons.

Mouton Rothschild 2009 Artist Label by Anish Kapoor

Mouton Rothschild has unveiled the label for its 2009 vintage - a design by British artist Anish Kapoor who was selected to design the label for Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2009 vintage release.

The dramatic label features contrasts of brilliant red against black, described by the chateau as "at once austere and flamboyant, the gouache he has created for Mouton Rothschild 2009 expresses the fertile thrust of plant life, the result of an intense encounter between matter and light."

Kapoor, a sculptor, painter and visual artist is a British citizen of Indian origin. He was was born in Mumbai (Bombay) in 1954 and settled in England in 1972. His recent works include the giant sculpture, "Orbit", that towers over London's Olympic park.

The pre-release Mouton 2009 vintage received top scores in the high 90s from all of the leading reviewers. 

Mouton Rothschild 2008 Artist Label by Xu Lei
Chinese Artist Xu Lei has designed the label for the 2008 vintage of Chateau Mouton Rothschild, a sign of the growing importance of the Chinese wine market.

Lei restyled the traditional Mouton emblem with an ink drawing which shows the famous ram standing between two halves of the moon.

As soon as rumors circulated in late 2009 that a Chinese artist would design the prestigious Mouton label, the Chinese market responded. Prices immediately shot upwards from the starting base of £1800 per case to £2200, and now prices are at least £6,000 per case.

 The news comes hot on the heels of a Chinese led surge for Chateau Lafite Rothschild after it was announced a few weeks ago that all bottles and magnums of the 2008 vintage would feature a neck engraving of the Chinese symbol for the figure eight. Prices for 2008 Lafite likewise soared and it’s now changing hands at £10,000 per case.

Lei is a graduate from the Nanjing Academy of Fine Arts and artistic director of Beijing’s Today Art Museum.

 Mouton Rothschild 2007 Artist Label by Bernar Venet

The 2007 label was designed by French sculptor Bernar Venet. Philippine de Rothschild, owner of Mouton, chose a painting by Bernar Venet for the 2007 vintage.

Venet is well known for his curved, mathematically precise metal sculptures made of steel bars and for his material exploration of coal, asphalt, and tar.

Venet was born on April 20, 1941 in Château-Arnoux-Saint-Auban. The painter and sculptor studied at La Villa Thiole in Nice in 1958 for a year before pursuing a career as an artist. Venet worked within Minimalist and Conceptualist modes during the 1960s and 1970s. He was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2005, in 2012.

In another artist series commercial engagement, Venet collaborated with the car manufacturer Bugatti to create a unique piece which was debuted at the Rubell Family Collection at Art Basel Miami.

Venet established the Venet Foundation in 2014, which serves as a museum and archive of his work.

He currently lives and works between New York, NY and Le Muy, France. Venet’s works are featured in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Fotomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among others.

Mouton Rothschild label and other artwork by Bernar Venet.

Mouton Rothschild Announcement of their 2006 Label by artist Lucien Freud

MIAMI BEACH, Fla., Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year since 1945, a great artist has created an original artwork for the Chateau Mouton Rothschild label. 

Today, at a press luncheon that also previews the opening of MOUTON ROTHSCHILD - PAINTINGS FOR THE LABELS at The Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, the owner of Mouton, announced that she has given the commission for the 2006 vintage to the British painter Lucian Freud, born in 1922, a universally acknowledged master of contemporary portraiture. 

Last year, one of his works was sold for the highest price ever attained by a living artist. Far from the tormented portraits and nudes for which he is renowned, for Mouton 2006 Lucian Freud has chosen a joyously exotic transposition of the pleasure of drinking, in which the vinestock is transformed into a springing palm tree and the wine lover into a happily anticipatory zebra.

Mouton Rothschild label and other artwork by Lucien Freud.

Mouton Rothschild 2005 Artist Label by Guiseppe Penone

For the highly anticipated 2005 vintage, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild selected Italian artist and sculptor Guiseppe Penone, known for his large-scale sculptures of trees that are interested in the link between man and the natural world.

His early work is often associated with the Arte povera movement. In 2014, Penone was awarded the prestigious Praemium Imperiale award.

According to the artist, his Mouton 2005 label was designed to represent the growth of the vine leaf and, at the same time, the splayed hand of the drinker, soon to grab a glass of Mouton.

Born 3 April 1947 in Garessio, Italy, Peneome currently lives and works in Turin, Italy. 

Mouton Rothschild label and artwork by Guiseppe Penone.

 Mouton Rothschild 2004 Label Artist HRH The Prince of Wales

While each year the Mouton label features original artwork by a contemporary artist, generally it is based on the theme of wine and the vine, it sometimes celebrates an historic event.

The 2004 vintage occupies a special place in Mouton history and memories since it marks the Centenary of the Entente Cordiale, concluded by Britain and France on 8 April 1904. King Edward VII is known to have played a prominent part in the agreement, which would herald a genuine alliance during the First World War and forever transform two rival powers into sisters by choice.

For the 2004 vintage artist label, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild approached HRH The Prince of Wales, a talented artist and a direct descendant of Edward VII.

The Prince agreed that the label for Mouton Rothschild 2004 could be illustrated with one of his watercolors, inspired by a French landscape, in celebration of the Entente Cordiale. He has added in his own hand: "To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Entente Cordiale – Charles, 2004". The commemoration of such an important milestone in Franco-British relations was the occasion for many celebrations in 2004, culminating in official visits by both Heads of State.

Mouton Rothschild 2003 Artist Label Features Historic Period Photograph

While generally each year a well known great artist's work is featured on the Château Mouton Rothschild label, the 2003 vintage is an exception. Marking the 150th anniversary of Mouton's entry into the family to which it has belonged without interruption for five generations, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild decided to depart from tradition. 

This year the label is devoted to Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild (1812-1870), direct ancestor from the English branch of the family who acquired the Mouton estate on 11 May 1853. Baron Nathaniel is depicted on the label in a period photograph.

The background shows part of the deed of sale. This document, carefully preserved in the Mouton archives, marks the beginning of a long love story between the Rothschild's and the great wines of Bordeaux.

Mouton Rothschild 2002 Label Artist Ilya Kabakov 

On February 8, 2005, Château Mouton-Rothchild released its artist's label for its 2002 vintage. The 2002 label features artwork by Ilya Kabakov, a Russian-born artist who has emigrated to the USA. 

Kabakov titled his drawing Okho, the Russian word for window. A Mouton Rothschild spokesperson for the Pauillac estate said, 'Behind the "pane" of the bottle, the artist shows us another world: whirling to infinity, a myriad wings trace its outlines, at the same time bearing us off joyfully towards the realm of dreams and bliss, in a transparent allegory of the magic of a great wine.' 

As is the tradition at Mouton-Rothschild, Ilya Kabakov was reimbursed with several cases of the 2002 Grand Vin.

Mouton Rothschild label and other artwork by Ilya Kabakov.

Mouton Rothschild 2001 Label Artist Robert Wilson

On January 8, 2004 Château Mouton-Rothchild released its artist's label for its 2001 vintage. The 2001 label was by American artist Robert Wilson and features a dyptich-style douple print of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, the owner of the estate. 

According to a press release, Wilson chose to set the baroness "in a symphony of colours in which the green vine shoots and the gold of the sun harmonise with the chromatic scale of the wine, from light red to deep purple." 

The Baroness chose an American artist in order to express her solidarity with the American people after the terrorist attacks on the New York World Trade Center on 9/11. As is the tradition at Mouton-Rothschild, Robert Wilson was reimbursed with several cases of the 2001 Grand Vin.

Mouton Rothschild label and other artwork by Robert Wilson.

Mouton Rothschild 2000 Bottle Artwork by Jakob Schenauer

Unveiled at the Vinexpos Americas trade show in New York in October 2002, the 2000 release bottle design featured a reproduction of the "Augsburg Ram,"  a silver-gilt drinking vessel created circa 1590 by Jakob Schenauer, a German master metalsmith. 

The original work is in the Château's Museum of Wine in Art. Enameled in gold on the glass by Glassmaker B.S.N. who developed a new technique for enameling in relief in order to capture the look of the original work. 

The ram, Mouton's symbol, has previously appeared on labels, initially on the first artist label, an art deco version created by the poster artist Jean Carlu for the 1924 vintage, then again on the image created by poster artist Raymond Savignac for the 1999 vintage. 

The 2000 bottle carries the Mouton name and coat of arms, the vintage and the signature of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, all in gold. Each bottle has the Château Mouton-Rothschild name engraved in this base as proof of authenticity. 

Mouton Rothschild 1999 Label Artist Raymond Savignac

In December 2001, Château Mouton-Rothschild announced that renowned poster artist Raymond Savignac created the artist's label for the 1999 vintage. The label art featured a colorful and light-hearted portrait of the Mouton ram.

Savignac, 93 in 2001, rose to prominence in 1949 with the success of his "Monsavon Cow" poster, an advertisement for a milk-soap product. 

Showcasing his levity and whimsical  humor, Savignac began his memoirs with the declaration, 'I was born at the age of 41 from the udder of the Monsavon cow.'  

Savignac was awarded the Grand Prix de l'Affiche in 1951. 

He has designed art for companies such as Air France, Bic, and Pepsi.  

Mouton Rothschild label and other artwork by Raymond Savignac.

Mouton Rothschild 1998 Label Artist Rufino Tamayo 

December, 2000 - The work of late Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo adorns the 1998 vintage label, a depiction of a man toasting with a wineglass under a glaring sun.  

Tamayo, whose work was influenced by pre-Columbian art, drew inspiration for his works from the lives of the indigenous people in his hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico. While many of his contemporaries, such as Diego Rivero, featured struggle and revolution, Tamayo preferred to focus on daily activities and pleasures, such as the man toasting with a wineglass under the glaring sun depicted on the label. 

Tamayo died in 1991, a year after agreeing to Baroness Philippine de Rothschild's request to paint an original work for the Mouton label. Unfortunately, he never fulfilled his promise, but his family contributed an earlier work of his, El Brindis, in his honor.

See my complete Mouton Rothschild Artist Labels Library on my legacy Mouton Rothschild Art Label Library page.