Polychrome majolica of Apulian domes: history, technique, pathology and conservation





majolica domes, aerial photogrammetry, 3D modelling, non-destructive techniques, restoration treatments


The paper is focused on the historical-architectural evolution and material-technical qualification of polychrome majolica domes that were built between the 17th and 19th centuries in Apulian religious buildings. In particular, the cultural context in which this solution spread throughout the Mediterranean area is identified. Moreover, the case history of construction and decorative techniques that are distinctive of the regional territory is discussed in terms of underlying structure, installation of elements and surface colours. The study is then detailed on the Church of Santa Maria della Vetrana in Castellana Grotte (BA), for which the morpho-typological survey and mapping of the decay state are presented, based on the use of terrestrial and aerial digital photogrammetry. Finally, based on the identification of the main pathologies from both direct and indirect alteration factors, the most appropriate conservation and maintenance interventions are outlined, with specific focus on repair and integration of the majolica tiles, according to principles of high compatibility and low intrusiveness for a solution meeting artisan tradition and technical practice.


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Author Biographies

Mariella De Fino, Polytechnic of Bari

DICATECH, Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Construction and Chemistry

Vito Domenico Porcari, University of Basilicata

DICEM, Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures, Environment, and Cultural Heritage

Albina Scioti, Polytechnic of Bari

DICATECH, Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Construction and Chemistry

Antonella Guida, University of Basilicata

DICEM, Department of European and Mediterranean Cultures, Environment, and Cultural Heritage

Fabio Fatiguso, Polytechnic of Bari

DICATECH, Department of Civil, Environmental, Land, Construction and Chemistry


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How to Cite

De Fino, M., Porcari, V. D., Scioti, A., Guida, A. and Fatiguso, F. (2022) “Polychrome majolica of Apulian domes: history, technique, pathology and conservation”, VITRUVIO - International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability, 7(2), pp. 34–45. doi: 10.4995/vitruvio-ijats.2022.18684.