The hallmark of Deruta pottery is in the lustrous designs applied to the forms. Raffaellesco – which derives its name from one of the stars of the High Renaissance, Raphael – was inspired by a series of Roman frescoes that had been recently excavated at the time. The fantastic compositions combining plants, animals and human figures were used in fresco as backgrounds to the main subject. In ceramics, the motif took on a life of its own. Since no “main subject” was included, the designers were free to cover every inch with fantastic figures.