Pyrotechnics had interested Raimondo di Sangro since he was a boarder at the Jesuit College in Rome. On this subject, which was very dear to baroque science, as he declared in his Lettera Apologetica, he aimed to publish a treatise, where he would fully reveal what was still “unknown or hidden” regarding the art. However, it was never published.
Di Sangro did not normally limit himself to the theoretical aspect. He designed a number of pyrotechnic theatres, where lighting the fireworks produced the most varied patterns, such as temples, architectural vistas, playing water, and huts. “Equally marvellous – continues the Lettera Apologetica – is the machine he invented for garden scenes, which […] not only makes a simple sound, like others do, but makes a very clear and distinct birdsong, which is created by the fireworks themselves with no other outside help”.
The Prince’s inventiveness also emerged in the broad chromatic range of his fireworks. Giangiuseppe Origlia tells how he produced “turquoise, citrus yellow, the yellow of the orange, white tending towards the colour of milk, the red colour of rubies” and many other colours. And a particularly fine colour was green fire, “which the Prince had invented in 1739”, so beating Count Rutowsky of Dresden, who had created it only four years later, and not in all the shades made by di Sangro, which ranged from sea green to emerald and grass green.