Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stendhal Syndrome

A certain husband alerted me to the fact that some people suffer from something called "Stendhal Syndrome" when they go to Florence. He was unclear on the details but said they get overwhelmed by too much art. Isn't that amazing? I found an 1989 article in the NYT that reads:
Some faint, Some soar suddenly, in the presence of provocative paintings, sculptures or architecture, certain people fall apart. Some start to perspire heavily. Others experience rapid heart beat and stomach pains. A few even faint. Still others fall into depression, or soar in euphoria, or feel omnipotent, or feel persecuted, or go through all of the above.
(You've really got to read the whole article!)

I am rather confident that I will not suffer from this affliction (although it sounds kinda fun), being, as I am, a trained Art Historian. Lately I have even imagined that I will see someone staggering around, and I'll fling out my arms and say, "I'll handle this, people! I'm an Art Historian!"


dad said...

I for one have been with you in those "ART" palaces; and you are very good...I mean very GOOD!!! Have the time of your life, it's probably better than going to the Baseball Hall Fame. You wouldn't by any chance have to do mouth to mouth to those individuals that might experience from "Stendhal Syndrome" would you? Enjoy the trip! Love Dad

Carrie said...

Yes, I know you could handle the situation. What do the experts suggest to help people become grounded again- watch an hour of TV or browse around on Facebook?

clterry said...


Sounds like Stendhal Syndrome, is kind of like being drunk. It could be fun to have.

Yes, don't do mouth-to-mouth on a stranger, yuk.
Have a blast!

MOM AND DAD said...