The winery’s tradition of commissioning artists for each of its labels didn’t begin in earnest until after World War II, but the idea began two decades earlier. In 1924, a 22-year-old Baron Philippe de Rothschild wanted to innovate the winemaking business and move away from traditional labels. When he took over the family business, he was also managing a theater in Paris and asked the affichiste
, the theater’s poster artist, if he would be interested in contributing a design. The artist,
During the war, the Rothschilds, who are Jewish, fled Vichy France, and their mansion at Château Mouton Rothschild was occupied by German forces. Baron Philippe returned after serving in the war to find that the vineyard had been damaged; shortly after, while restorating the grounds, he also returned to the idea of artist-designed labels.
“He always had the notion that art and wine were very closely related,” said Philippe Sereys de Rothschild, the baron’s grandson, who currently manages the artist selection with his brother, Julien, and their sister, Camille.