Dec 02: Chateau Mouton Rothschild, one of the five First Growths of Bordeaux 1955 Classification, released the traditional label by an international Artist for the Chateau wine of 2018 vintage yesterday, with the Chinese artist Xu Bing using square word calligraphy to highlight the name of the company, writes Subhash Arora who urges the viewers to visit the labels by different Artistes including the Indian born Anish Kapoor, since 1945 and displayed on their website
Look at the picture on the left. You don’t need to be able to read Chinese to figure it out with a bit of focus and concentration. It is the artist version using ‘square word calligraphy’ deftly by the Chinese Artist Xu Bing, invited by the five First Growth of Bordeaux which joined the elite rank of 1955 Classification in 1973 after an insistent follow-up by the late Baron Philippe de Rothschild. He became known for the famous quote, “Premier je suis. Second je fus. Mouton ne change. (First I am. Second I used to be. Mouton does not change)”.
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Baron Philippe was the first one in the wine industry to start the practice of using unique labels painted by a well-known Artist in 1945. The practice continued with his daughter Baroness Philippine de Rothschild till she signed the label of 2012 vintage before passing away in August 2014. The practice continues by the current owners Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, Camille Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild. Mouton is also a part of PFV (Primum Familiae Vini) which had travelled to Mumbai as the group of 12 to India in 2007.
Xu Bing is rated as one of China’s pioneering and best-known creative figures. He was commissioned by the Chateau to create the Mouton Rothschild 2018 label that was released yesterday,1 December by the owners. The 65-year old iconic Artist is famous for his creative use of language. Mouton Rothschild 2018 label is an example of his ‘square word calligraphy’. He used this technique to create artwork that resembles traditional Chinese characters but actually comprises words and letters from the Latin alphabets. You can read Mouton on the left and Rothschild on the right, in his inimitable calligraphic style.
Also read : Mouton Rothschild releases 2011 Label
Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild who invited Bing to paint the label, says, ‘when I discovered Xu Bing, I was captivated by him as an inventor of signs endowed with incredible poetic power.’ Xu had earlier met the Baroness in 2013 and was well aware of her interest in Art and the tradition of a new vintage label for the Chateau wine every vintage.
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‘I have long been aware of the close connection between Château Mouton Rothschild and art,’ said Xu Bing. ‘I was impressed by her energy, her (Baroness) warm personality and knowledge of the arts. She said that one day I should create a label for Mouton Rothschild. So when Julien de Rothschild contacted me to illustrate the label for the vintage 2018, I took it as an honour and an opportunity to pay tribute,’ according to a Report in Decanter.
Previous artists have included Pablo Picasso (1973), Andy Warhol (1975), Francis Bacon (1990) and Prince Charles (2004). Our own Indian-born Artist Anish Kapoor now a UK citizen, was invited to curate the 2009 vintage.
Also read : Rothschild 2004 with the Royal label is released
For a detailed viewing of the Art Labels since 1945, Click Here:
Video of the Label
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