Cover Olafur Eliasson and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild with Château Mouton Rothschild 2019 (Photo: Mathieu Anglada)

Danish Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson has created the original artwork Solar Iris of Mouton for the label of Château Mouton Rothschild 2019

The chosen label for Château Mouton Rothschild 2019 is a celebration of the alliance of sun and wine. Titled Solar Iris of Mouton, Danish Icelandic artist, Olafur Eliasson showcases the intersection of nature, art and science. Since 1945, a leading artist has illustrated the label thanks to the wine producer’s long-standing and close link with leading contemporary artists. Art has also been central to the history of Baron Phillipe de Rothschild’s family.

The original artwork is divided into two horizontal stripes with the upper part representing daytime with its golden hues, while the lower part represents the night in midnight blue. The oculus is framed as a representation of Château Mouton Rothschild. Around it is a series of ellipses that form a ring that charts the path of the sun in relation to the earth at the Château’s located in Pauillac, France. Finally, the lowest arc designates the shortest day of the year while the top arc for the longest.

There are other details to look at it in the upper part where eight elongated figures known as analemmas represent the position of the sun recorded from Château Mouton Rothschild at the same time of the day. The figure-eight shape also evokes the symbol of infinity which may serve as a promise of eternity for the wine producer.

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“I was inspired by the cyclical nature of the seasons, of the year, the day, the night, the sun. Why not consider our influence on the weather and the weather’s influence on us over a good glass of wine,” says Eliasson exclusively to Tatler. “Every wine is a testimony to the land in which the grapes grew and to its history, the year in which the wine was made, the power of the sun, the cyclical relationship to the environment. The wine I am drinking is a fingerprint of the land and the weather. These conditions are what shape the experience,” he adds.

The artist sees the wine as a testimony, a fingerprint, of the soil in which the grapes grew and ripened, the year in which it was made hence why he added the influence of the sun that year and its cyclical relationship to its environment.

Eliasson was born in 1967 and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Now based in Berlin, he works in sculpture, painting, photography, film and digital media. He has been a guest of leading museums all over the world, representing Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2013. His biggest break was in 2016 when he was tasked to create a series of interventions for his exhibition at the Palace of Versailles.

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In choosing Eliasson, Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, the co-owner of Château Mouton Rothschild and responsible for producing the label, explains his deep interest in the artist’s work for many years. Speaking exclusively to Tatler, he says, “We first met Olafur Eliasson at the inauguration of his exhibition at the Palace of Versailles in June 2016. I had been fascinated by Olafur Eliasson’s work for many years; the wonderful exhibition confirmed my impressions and I said to myself: ‘One day if he is willing, Olafur Eliasson will be one of Mouton Rothschild’s artists.’”

He explains the significance of the original artwork and its connection to them, “Solar Iris of Mouton is a map of all the sunsets and sunrises that take place over a year at Château Mouton Rothschild. It is the first time an artist has taken such an explicit interest in the importance of the sun, and all of us at Mouton Rothschild are well aware of the extent to which the quality of a vintage depends on its presence or absence.”

A prestigious list of artists have designed the label, Eliasson joins the ranks of Salvador Dalí, César Baldaccini, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. Many of them have spent time at Château Mouton Rothschild, where their original artworks are displayed in Labels Room.

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