The Subtle Shade of the Wine
Perrier-Jouët invites Ritsue Mishima to continue its creative conversation.
Perrier Jouet’s creative conversation has given rise to an array of original works and installations by renowned artists and designers, who have drawn on the House’s rich history, its exceptional vineyards, the miracle of champagne and, of course, the celebrated anemones that are the emblem of Perrier-Jouët and its Belle Epoque Cuvée. Infused with poetry or a sense of spectacle, all the works spring from two closely related sources of inspiration: nature and the ArtNouveau movement.
A love of nature runs deep through the history and philosophy of Perrier-Jouët: its founders and their descendants not only had a detailed knowledge of viticulture, but were also eminent botanists and connoisseurs of art. This sensibility led them, in 1902, to ask Émile Gallé, the master glassmaker who was one the Art Nouveau movement pioneers, to create a decorative motif for a series of jeroboams.
He chose a graceful spray of white Japanese anemones, a delicate flower that, as a passionate botanist, he cultivated in his own garden. The composition is emblematic of the Art Nouveau style, and also illustrates another influence, Japonism, which emerged in the late 19th century with an influx of artefacts from Japan as thecountry opened up to the West.
Fusing a Japanese-influenced aesthetic with the Venetian glassmaking tradition, the artist has lived and worked in the Italian city since 1989. In her studio, Ritsue Mishima calls upon the savoir-faire of four Murano artisans to execute her designs: objects in clear blown glass which play with light, seemingly capturing it within organic forms. At once powerful and ethereal, her works celebrate the strength, purity and luminosity of glass. Between grace and gravity, they are an ode to light, to the rays of the sun, and to their reflections on their surroundings, in particular water. “When I visited the Maison Belle Epoque in Epernay,” says Ritsue Mishima, “I remember being struck by the delicate light in which the garden was bathed.”
And while the artist was “very impressed by the House’s extraordinary collection of Art Nouveau”, she explains that the Cuvée Belle Epoque was also an important source of inspiration: “The subtle shade of the wine, the elegant bubbles catching the light, and the delicate anemones winding around the bottle influenced the creative process.” Indeed, Ritsue Mishima draws a parallel between the crafting of champagne and that of glass – two forms of craftsmanship requiring exceptional skill and knowledge of ancestral traditions.