Vanna (pronounced in Italian vän'-na and in English väh'na) is a given name that first appeared in recorded European history circa 1294. The Italian medieval feminine name originated in Tuscany, and is particular to Florence, Italy.
- 1 History
- 2 Pronunciation
- 3 Variations
- 4 Meanings and usage
- 5 Name usage in Art, popular culture
- 6 People with the given name Vanna
- 7 References
- 8 See also
The name Vanna first appears in print in La Vita Nuova, a thirteenth-century book of verse written by Dante Alighieri, an Italian Florentine poet. In one verse, Dante writes that (anthropomorphized) Love itself proclaims that Vanna is 'Primavera' (Springtime) and declares that Beatrice's name is Love.
Vannetta; Vanetta; Vannina; Vanni. It is similar to the first name Ivanna.
Meanings and usage
The name Vanna is particular to the Tuscan province of Italy where usage originated during the Renaissance and became popular as a feminine first given name. Vanna is the feminine root form of Giovanni, the Italian cognate of John, meaning "God is gracious".
An Italian variant that closely resembles the name but was a family name and not in usage as a first or given name is the rare surname vanno, from ancient Latin meaning "she who sifts" (or assesses) and "merit."
Vanna is a given name to either females or males and means "golden" and "golden colored."
In Hebrew, Vanna means "God's gift."
Russian and Czech
The Russian and Czech variation "Ivanna" means "God is gracious."
Van is short for the Scottish variation Evan, meaning Youth and "God's grace."
Name usage in Art, popular culture
- La Vita Nuova, by Dante Alighieri (1294). Vanna is a character inspired and named for a Florentine lady who was the best friend of Beatrice, his true love whom he later immortalizes in The Divine Comedy as the pure soul who awaits him at the gates of heaven.
- Poetry by Ezra Pound:
- The Alchemist. In a chant for the transmutation of metals, Pound invokes: "Vanna, Mandetta, Viera, Alodetta, Picarda, Manuela / From the red gleam of copper, [...] O Queen of Cypress, / Out of Erebus, out of the flat waste of air, lying beneath the world; / Out of the brown leaf-brown colourless / Bring the imperceptible cool."
- The Cantos. The last line of the Canto 93 describes ("un lume pien' di spiriti") "a light full of the spirits [of love]," and finishes with ("e Monna Vanna . . . tu mi fai rimembrar") "and Monna [Lady] Vanna, you cause me to remember [paradise]." 
Theater, television, film
- Star Trek - Vanna is a character in the original Star Trek television series episode The Cloud Minders (1969).
- Monna Vanna, by Maurice Maeterlinck (1902). The play was the first success in the writer's literary career that, in 1911, was honored with the Nobel Prize for literature. Ayn Rand referred to Monna Vanna "...one of the greatest plays in all of world literature". Monna Vanna played on every important stage in Europe, except in England, where it was prohibited by censors until 1914. The play was produced in Hollywood in 2007 by the Stella Adler theater, the first time since the 20th century.
- Monna Vanna, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1866)
- Dante and Beatrice, by Henry Holiday (1864)
- Monna Vanna, a nude version of the Mona Lisa painted by Salaì (Gian Giacomo Caprotti da Oreno), a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci. (Monna was the Renaissance title for "Lady", e.g., Mona Lisa, Monna Vanna).
- Monna Vanna, unfinished opera by Sergei Rachmaninoff
- Monna Vanna, opera in 4 acts by Henry Février
- Monna Vanna, opera in 3 acts by Emil Ábrányi
- Monna Vanna, opera in 4 acts by Nicolae Brânzeu
People with the given name Vanna
- Monna (Lady) Vanna, thirteenth century citizen of Florence, Italy, muse and love of Florentine poet Guido Cavalcanti.
- Vanna Bonta (born 1958), American novelist, poet and actress
- Vanna Rosenberg (born 1973), Swedish singer and actress
- Vanna White (born 1957), American game show hostess
- The Romance of Biography - Vol. 1, Jameson; E Monna Vanna e Monna Bice poi
- Cambodian names The beauty and significance of Cambodian names
- Collected Early Poems of Ezra Pound
- Ezra Pound and the Mysteries of Love: A Plan for The Cantos, by Akiko Miyake
- Star Trek original series; IMDB) Vanna (Character)
- The Ayn Rand Institute Great Plays as Literature and as Philosophy
- English Theatre in Transition: 1881-1914, by James Woodfield; p. 118 (1984)
- Major Prophets of Today, by Edwin E. Slosson; p. 42
- Monna Vanna, Stella Adler Theater
- A new Kind of Beauty: Rossetti's Monna Vanna
- Dante, Vita Nuova. Milano, Garzanti, 1982.
- Tobias Eisermann, Cavalcanti oder die Poetik der Negativität, Band 17 in Romanica et Comparatistica: Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Studien, herausgegeben von Richard Baum und Willi Hirdt, Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verlag Brigitte Narr GmbH, 1992; ISBN
- AA.VV., Antologia della poesia italiana, ed C.Segre and C. Ossola. Torino, Einaudi, 1999
- Migliorini, B. Storia della lingua Italiana. Firenze, Sansoni, 1987