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.
“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.