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Abstract

The research focuses on the features of 250 natural stone portals of the civil buildings of the town of Udine (NE Italy), dating between the 15th and 20th centuries. In order to clearly define the number, characteristics and uniqueness of these architectural elements, three strategies were implemented: (i) a concise database of all the portals; (ii) a concise reference database of more than 100 portals of five significant nearby towns; and (iii) a detailed inventory, consisting of data and photographs of about 200 portals selected for relevance or because they represent a recurrent type. The analysis of the data collected, supported by reference studies of quarry location, stone-cutter activity, the work of architects, cultural relationships with immediate and distant influences permitted the definition of an interdisciplinary framework describing the main features of portal production, as related to formal evidence, stone materials, historical building and carving techniques. The rational organization of the huge set of data collected represents an effective working tool, interconnecting different aspects of the portals' realization, which was indispensable for the research, but will also be useful for further research on the role of stone material in the historic buildings of Udine.

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