Chateau Mouton Rothschild. The Art of the
The exhibition in the Twelve-Column Hall of the New Hermitage was jointly organized by the State Hermitage and Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, the world-renowned exporter of prestigious classified wines from Bordeaux.
The exhibition features more than 60 works of art by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Robert Mazaruela, Vasily Kandinsky, Jean Cocteau and other leading artists who created labels for the celebrated French wine Mouton Rothschild. A work entitled Window by the famous Conceptualist Ilya Kabakov evoked special interest at the exhibition. It was the label design for the 2002 vintage of Chateau Mouton Rothschild and is one of the most recent items in the collection, which each year adds a new exhibit.
The head of Philippe de Rothschild SA, baroness Philippine de Rothschild, was the initiator of this exhibition. The collection has been shown in museums around the world since 1981; however, this is the first time that many of these art works are being presented in Russia.
In 1924 Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988) marked the launch of his first “chateau bottled” wine by commissioning a label for Mouton from the well-known poster artist Jean Carlu.
In 1945 Baron Philippe de Rothschild decided to call attention to the victory in World War II by crowning the label for the vintage with the letter "V" for "Victoire" (victory). This exceptional occasion gave rise to a tradition whereby, since 1946, a new artist has been invited each year to create an original work of art for the label.
Each year, going back to 1945, the labels of Chateau Mouton Rothschild have been created by the greatest masters of drawing, painting and etching, among whom representatives of the Russian school of art hold an important place.
Initially Baron Philippe de Rothschild selected artists from among his friends: Marie Lorensen, Leonora Fini, Jean Cocteau. In 1955 the famous artist Georges Braque himself offered to create an illustration for the vintage. He was followed by the most important artists of our age: Salvador Dali, Juan Miro, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Soulages, Georg Baselitz, Francis Bacon, and presently Ilya Kabakov. In this manner a remarkable collection is being created, as each year a new work of art is added.
In 1981 Baroness Philippine de Rothschild opened the collection of original labels to public viewing and created the present exhibition. The labels are exhibited in glass display cases created by the designer Francis Lacloche. Each work of art is shown in its own individual micro-world, surrounded by a variety of other items: the label of the vintage, photographs, press clippings, and even some gifts from the artists.
With each new harvest this unusual collection grows and thereby maintains a permanently renewed dialogue between wine and art. The exhibition has already been shown in Western Europe (London, Berlin, Brussels), in the United States of America, Canada, Japan and China. It is being shown for the first time in Russia.
After the show closes in the State Hermitage it will be shown in Moscow, in the A.S. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, from 15 - 20 March 2005.