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An art beneath the feet: guidelines and instruments for the conservation of majolica pavements

By Montuori M.


In recent years, the study of historical construction techniques has become a central component in a discipline like cultural heritage conservation, due to the improvement that the knowledge of these techniques has produced in the process of protection practice. The present paper aims to describe the development of different Neapolitan typologies for laying brickwork through an in-depth historical research carried out not only on documents belonging to several archives, but especially on the pavement itself, in order to present a classification of these pavements. The floors have been studied starting from a detailed metric survey and developing the analysis of decoration patterns, execution techniques, mineralogical and chemical composition of the tiles. Their actual status mainly depends on the poor quality of conservation actions which do not respect traditional materials and techniques. Through correct use, constant care and monitoring, it should be possible to preserve historic brickwork pavements; indeed, this approach is suitable to propose a compatible reuse, according to the current conservation state, in order to avoid easy removals. Finally, the essay is addressed to enrich the knowledge on ancient techniques in historical buildings construction, especially for paving in fired brick tiles or in painted tiles of majolica, with the aim of spreading the ability to recognize these elements as product of knowledge, witnesses to the folk technological culture in a precise historic period

Topics: constructive techniques, fired brick tiles, impiantito, majolica tiles.
Publisher: Center for the study of architecture in the Arab Region
Year: 2008
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