MOUTON
ROTHSCHILD
1972
MUSEUM ON THE
LABEL
"The art is not more than a very logical organization of some vital forces, reflected in particular elements in the form of tensions."
Vasily Kandinsky

Just recently the world has witnessed the reveal of the new label of Château Mouton Rothschild 2012 vintage. This label made by Spanish artist Miquel Barcelo, will definitely go down to history as sadly being the last selection by Baroness Philippine de Rothschild. This label has outlined the long and glorious era in history of the Grand Château, and inaugurated the new period, I hope not less brilliant.

The tradition initiated by Baroness Philippine brought to the labels the epochal names from Dalí, César and Chagal to Warhol and Koons and transformed every bottle into the real treasure for collectors and simply art (& wine) lovers.
And at least, I am pretty sure that anyone, even those miles away from preferring wine to beer, will hesitate while looking at the Mouton Rothschild's' online museum…just asking the question: why all this bloody Hermitage is about the simple bottle of wine, and does any sense except money exist here?

And it is the right moment to tell them, that this entire half-century-old gallery was made for the reward of a case of wine which label they were creating.

That is why this entire epoch of contemporary art, deserves so great many honorable mentions, and the One by Wine decided not to stand apart. So, today's post start the series of publications about the great heritage and simply an example of harmonic combination of wine and painting merged into a single piece of art, masterpiece the mankind can create.

But I won't sing the praises today, as one of the labels turned out to be a bit more intriguing than the others, being really controversial and even wrong…well let's see.

While admiringly surfing through the collection of Mouton labels on their website, I came upon the 1971 vintage, decorated with painting by Vasily Kandinsky.
Knowing how much of theories Kandinsky had put into from the first sight quite primitive geometrical forms in his paintings, the first thoughts were like: that couldn't be nothing except the encoded tasting notes of the 1971 vintage!

Paintings by Kandinsky (well, of course as of any other artist) can tell about many invisible things. Kandinsky devoted himself to deep analysis of color and forms in everything that surrounds us, any kind of art, music, painting, and literature. And of course he tried to picture all this energies on his canvas.
Fragile (1931)
© Centre Pompidou
The extensive analysis of how the energy interacts in all the spheres of arts Kandinsky, by the way, described in his book 'Point and Line to Plane' (Punkt und Linie zu Fläche ‒ 1926), and I will use it for the forthcoming analysis.

The main purposes of his theoretical researches were to find a living form, determine its pulsation and understand the sense. How beautiful this idea is, if to apply it to the wine, isn't it?

Moutons' label tries to tell us about the cold dark and massive force (not negative itself in the meaning, but by the nature of its energy). As horizontal lines dictate the overall dynamics of what is happening…coldness and flatness, is this really what I want to hear about wine?

The dark background reminds us about something deep and cold, where the white lines are relatively a bit warmer. The colors of lines tell us about the sound…really quite, or more precisely about whisper and calmness.
Composition IX (1936)
© Centre Pompidou
The parallel lines tell about the power of cool and calm forces, and they are tremendous. The lines are so straight, as just there is no any struggle to resist their power.

The length of the horizontal lines tells that we deal with some fundamental forces, slow and long lasting. Looks like the author is telling us about the ageing potential, isn't it?

But something is boiling and erupting from the overall calmness. We can say it is the beginning of some changes and the tension is still growing. Exactly, how wine developing over the time, that's it!

Eventually, all the figures are moving towards the top left corner of the canvas, trying to reach rarefaction, lightness and freedom. Escaping from the usual environment towards the new adventures. Beauty!



Shame, a bit after I understood that year 1971 was too late for Kandinsky as he left this world in December 1944, far before his painting was reprinted on the Moutons' label. And, occasionally, they were only two with Picasso (1973) memorised with Moutons labels after their deaths.

Why that his painting was chosen to illuminate the vintage? Is it really reflecting the style of the wine and the soul of Château Mouton?

The aquarelle painted in 1939 is now exhibited in the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris. Going deeper into the problem turned out the fact that the painting didn't suite the picture, so it was turned to horizontal position, originally like here:
The sky and earth were just simply turned upside-down. So easy can be done with lines and circles, but not so obvious with someone's portrait or a picturesque landscape, right?

And the painting tells us about a huge energy leaping outside cold space, just like someone's jump into the air, like the loud culmination of symphonic composition, denouement of the thrilling detective story, and even more like a fizzy explosion of the bottle…of champagne.

Well, I've never tried CMR, 1971 not even more… but this clever trick made me really thrilled. Sure, Rothschild's, the true art connoisseurs, wouldn't have left the things so simple just to meet their commercial goals. How elegantly were changed the strict horizons of Kandinsky geometrical world to communicate about character of their wine

I believe.

And what do you think of it?
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