Château Mouton Rothschild is one of the most reputable domains in the Médoc region of France, named the “first grand cru” according to the official classification of Bordeaux wines. And a prestigious wine necessitates a prestigious label. In 1924, Baron Philippe de Rothschild wanted to mark the domain’s first bottling by calling on famed poster artist Jean Carlu to create the label. The idea wasn’t bad, but it wouldn’t be seen to fruition. It wasn’t until 20 years later in 1945 that Baron Philippe came back to his idea. This time, he crowned the vintage’s label with a V for victory, a V designed by young painter Philippe Julian. The tradition was born.
Every year, a renowned artist brings their touch to this unequivocally prestigious wine. Jean Hugo and Jean Cocteau, friends of the Baron, were among the first to be solicited. Later on, names like César, Braque, Dali, Miró, Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, Soulages, Bacon, Tapies, and more recently Jeff Koons would get involved. They all brought a personal work as the bottle’s signature. This year, Gerhard Richter is teaming up with the 2015 vintage. The result: an inspired and hypnotizing work of art. The painter has indeed long been known for a singular, complex, and accessible body of work.
A dialectic between painting and photography puts his art in a category that fluctuates between figurative art and abstraction. Celebrated for his photo-paintings with blurry backgrounds as well as his still-life paintings and portraits, the artist is today a master who sells his paintings for several million Euros. For the Mouton de Rothschild wine, Gerhard Richter created a label called “Flux”, illustrating a process that’s both random and carried out with certain virtuosity. It’s a mise en peinture of Mouton Rothschild 2015’s process of creation. The Château details the process thus: “The artist fixed colors in movement in a photo, captured at the ideal moment for their composition. In the same way, a harmonious assemblage gives a great wine, a true living material, its balance and fullness. He spread out enameled paint on a piece of plexiglass that he pressed a piece of glass onto, bringing out a number of surprising compositions. When the process was completed, he definitively attached the two pieces to one another.” That’s where this iconic label was born, with fluctuating and harmonious colors in equal measure.