The marvelous follows us…

Fireworks were one of the marvels at the coronation of Alexander II.

After the spectacular storm last night I’m thinking about wonder, and specifically 16th century thinker Francesco Patrizi’s list of the 12 sources of wonder, which he published in the 1580s.

Patrizi’s twelve sources of the marvelous:






—departure from the usual

—the “exceedingly natural”

—the divine

—great utility

—the very exact

—the unexpected

—the sudden

The storm would have to fall under the “exceedingly natural” category. The maraviglia I wrote about in Encyclopedia of the Exquisite, those cataloged by Arcimboldo, for example, were departures from the usual, though novel and augmented, too. How to categorize Buontalenti’s marvelous invention gelato? How about divine.

“The marvelous,” wrote Patrizi, “follows us always.”