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Cup, (untitled), ca. 1922
Berta Tappolet
Cup, (untitled),
Berta Tappolet,

Cup, (untitled),
ca. 1922

Berta Tappolet
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • (untitled) Berta Tappolet Cup
  • (untitled) Berta Tappolet Cup
  • (untitled) Berta Tappolet Cup
Listen to the text

With lyrical porcelain painting, Berta Tappolet (1897–1947) displayed her signature creative flair, while she also pursued in various other genres the aim of perfecting each product with narratively dense ornament.

Berta Tappolet painted with free-flowing brushstrokes a cup and saucer as part of a tea service. The predominantly delicate pastel shades of the porcelain paint are applied transparently in watery layers, spreading across the surfaces in an even flow. A woman sits in a relaxed posture at the window, contemplating a harmonious dreamlike landscape enlivened by frolicking wildlife amid the vegetation along with fragmentary hints of buildings and further figures. Deftly placed patches of color round off the varied composition. Tappolet initially completed an apprenticeship drafting embroidery motifs in the studio of Bertha Bear (1872–unknown), together with her friend Luise Strasser (1894–1974). She then studied decorative painting for three years at the Kunstgewerbeschule München. After returning from Munich to Zurich, in 1917 the two friends opened a studio at Neumarkt 11 and then ran a “crafts workshop” on Jupitersteig from 1926 to 1935. Tappolet’s expressive painting style, which she had already perfected in book illustrations (such as Kinder im Garten), decorative furniture painting (on chests and cabinets), and murals, also animated her porcelain painting and textile art. Along with the designers Luise Strasser, Cornelia Forster, and Amata Good, Tappolet opened a shop in Zurich in 1937 called Cornelius, where the artists sold their works. The shop spread word of her talents, bringing her many orders. The ceramic workshop in Uster hired Tappolet and Strasser to paint decorative vases and pitchers, while Tappolet also executed painted ornament for the Langenthal porcelain factory. (Sabine Flaschberger)

Tasse mit Untertasse, um 1922
Dekormalerei: Berta Tappolet
Material/Technik: Porzellan, Unterglasurmalerei
5 × 10 cm (Tasse), 2.5 × 14.5 cm (Unterteller)
Eigentum: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Museum Bellerive (Hg.), Glas, Historismus, Jugendstil, Zwanziger Jahre, Bd. 2, Zürich 1995, Nr. 135; Kunstmuseum, Glas des Art Nouveau.

Felix Tappolet et al, In memoriam Berta Tappolet 1897–1947, Winterthur-Töss 1947.

Berta Tappolet
Berta Tappolet
*1897 in Zürich
†1947 in St. Moritz

Berta Tappolet absolvierte zunächst eine Stickereilehre im Zürcher Atelier von Bertha Baer. Nach dem Abschluss der Lehrlingsprüfung im Fach Stickereizeichnen studierte sie zusammen mit ihrer Freundin Luise Strasser drei Jahre an der Kunstgewerbeschule in München. 1917 nach Zürich zurückgekehrt, gründete sie wiederum gemeinsam mit Luise Strasser ein Atelier. 1937 eröffneten die beiden mit Cornelia Forster und Amatha Good in Zürich den Laden Cornelius zum Verkauf ihrer Arbeiten. 1940 baute die Architektin Lux Guyer das Haus Zur Münz in Zürich in ein Café-Restaurant um und zog Strasser, Tappolet, Forster und Margherita Oswald-Toppi für die Inneneinrichtung hinzu. Tappolets Werk umfasst Keramik, Malerei, Zeichnungen, Textilkunst, Wandmalerei und Buchgestaltung.


Museum Bellerive (Hg.), Schweizer Tapisserien. Künstler von heute, Zürich 1977.

Porträt Berta Tappolet
Abbildung: / Fotografie: ATP Bilderdienst, Zürich, 1939

Image creditso

Tasse mit Untertasse, um 1922, Dekormalerei: Berta Tappolet
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Milchkanne, um 1922, Dekormalerei: Berta Tappolet
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Kissenbezug, um 1924, Entwurf/Ausführung: Berta Tappolet
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Fotografie, Truhe ausgestellt im Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, bemalt von Berta Tappolet, 1923, Fotografie: Ernst Linck
Abbildung: Archiv ZHdK

Exhibition texto
Painted Dishware

The culture of the carefully laid table is reflected in multifaceted ways in the painted decoration of stoneware and porcelain. Naturalistic motifs have always enjoyed the greatest popularity. When a rooster crows in an idyllic landscape, or crickets chirp in the Service japonais, when a chrysanthemum unfurls its splendor across whisper-thin eggshell china or people frolic in colorful lyrical settings, our hearts leap with joy. We even feel a childlike glee when we can choose the color of our cup depending on our mood!