Monday, January 26, 2009

My loving cup is ready!

Personable lovers' cup by artist and friend Romano Ranieri, 2009

January 2009: My test about Renaissance lovers' cups is over! I selected a round plate with the classical scroll/ribbon and inscription of love. Lovers' cups come in many shapes. I am very grateful to my friend Romano Ranieri for painting the plate with my portrait based on an art photo of mine. Meanwhile I found out something very interesting about the name "Bertabella" that brought me back to the history of my mother's family. This is a later discovery, which happened by accident. 

Etymologically everything starts from my first name, Roberta, which was given to me because it was popular in Italy in the 1960s. One of the first soap operas in Italy was called "Una storia americana" (tr. an American story) and Roberta was the good girl. This name bacame popular also thanks to the song "Roberta", by famous Italian singer Peppino di Capri. Many babies in Italy who were born in the decade of the 1960s are named Roberta and Roberto. 

Historically in the Renaissance the name Roberta did not exist, on the contrary "Berta" was the name in use with the variation of "Bertha" since the 6th century AD for aristocratic girls, Charlemagne's mother was named Berta. Additionally "Bella" was the most popular adjective for the "lovers'cups" in the Renaissance in Deruta and I selected it because of the alliteration of the letters "B"s. So by adding Berta to Bella I created "Bertabella". 

Classical lover's cup in the shape of a round plate

Enjoy the Renaissance art story of this Renaissance gift of love. Video from the Metropolitan Museum about the subject of loving cups also available here.

1 comment:

  1. Great artist, indeed. His artistic livelihood, has donated fifty years experience, contributing to establishing a secular tradition in ceramics in Deruta.