From left: Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Camille Sereys de Rothschild, Olafur Eliasson, and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild
Icelandic-Danish Olafur Eliasson is the artist whose work adorns Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2019.
Solar Iris of Mouton is an intersection of nature, art and science, celebrating the alliance of sun and wine.
Divided into two horizontal strips, the upper part represents daytime with its golden hues and the lower part the night in midnight blue. They frame the oculus which represents Chateau Mouton Rothschild. A series of ellipses form a ring that charts the path of the sun in relation to the earth at Mouton’s location in Pauillac. The lowest arc designates the shortest day of the year, the top arc the longest.
The elongated row of the figure 8 in the upper part of the label is known as analemmas and represent the position of the sun recorded from Chateau Mouton Rothschild at the same time on each day of the year. The motion of the earth and the passing of time thus become visible in the shape of the analemma.
“Solar Iris of Mouton is a map of all the sunsets and sunrises that take place over a year at Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Depicting each hour of daylight and night-time that go into the growing of the grapes, it is a kind of signature for the vineyard, telling us something about the conditions in which the wine grew and the intimate relationship between the wine and its location.
“Tasting the wine connects us to the local environment, to the soil, and to the particular weather, seasons, and lighting of the place. Visible through the eye-like oculus at the centre of the label, the wine contains the golden sun, the earth, and the sky; it is local and it simultaneously bears a trace of the celestial,” Olafur Eliasson.
Born in 1967, Olafur Eliasson studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Based now in Berlin, his studio is home to a multi-disciplinary team which includes architects and art historians. Eliasson works in sculpture, painting, photography, film and digital media. A guest of leading museums around the world, he represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2003. In 2016, Olafur Eliasson created a series of interventions for his exhibition at the Palace of Versailles, deploying mirrors and light, fog and water to amplify feelings of impermanence and transformation.
Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, co-owner of Chateau Mouton Rothschild and responsible for producing the label, explains his choice for the 2019 label.
“I have been fascinated by Olafur Eliasson’s work for many years. His wonderful exhibition at Versailles in 2016 was a defining moment for me and I said to myself ‘One day, if he is willing, Olafur Eliasson will be one of Chateau Mouton Rothschild’s artists’. His art focuses on the essential and that is what he has managed to capture for Mouton Rothschild: time, the round of the seasons and the sun at the centre of everything, treated here in the form of a diagram.”
Art has always been central to the history of Baron Philippe de Rothschild’s family. Chateau Mouton Rothschild has a long-standing and close link with leading contemporary artists. Each year since 1945 a leading artist has illustrated the Chateau Mouton Rothschild label, forming a collection that features the most famous names in contemporary art.
The list includes some of the most celebrated figures of their day, including Dali, Cesar, Miro, Chagall, Picasso and Warhol. Many of the distinguished artists spent time at Mouton, where their original artworks are displayed in the “Paintings for the Labels” room.