And also from Vice…
Fine art can really make you sick. Or so says Dr. Graziella Magherini, author of The Stendhal Syndrome. She has studied more than a hundred tourists in Florence, Italy, who became ill in the presence of great works. The symptoms include heart palpitations, dizziness, and stomach pains. The typical sufferer is a single person between the ages of 26 and 40 who rarely leaves home. Dr. Magherini believes the syndrome is a result of jet lag, travel stress, and the shock of an overwhelming sense of the past. “Very often,” she says, “there’s the anguish of death.” The disorder was named after the 19th-century French novelist, who became overwhelmed by the frescoes in Florence’s Santa Croce Basilica. Particularly upsetting works of art include Michelangelo’s statue of David, Caravaggio’s painting of Bacchus, and the concentric circles of the Duomo cupola.
I can’t imagine getting sick in front of a Caravaggio…but leave it to Vice! This is great, although I wonder if research should have included “more then a hundred tourists in Florence”. I mean as any of us who have been there know….that could be the first half of one morning during the summer rush!