What is Stendhal Syndrome?
Stendhal Syndrome is a psychosomatic disorder in which a person is inclined to very acutely perceive works of art, as if transferred to the depicted reality.
Causes of Stendhal Syndrome
The syndrome owes its name to the classic of French literature, Henri Stendhal. He, as befits a writer, was an impressionable person. Once, during a trip to Florence, he looked into the Church of the Holy Cross, which is famous for its famous frescoes by Giotto, as well as the fact that there are the tombs of many great people of Italy: Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and others. What he saw made the writer such a strong impression that, leaving the church, he almost lost consciousness.
However, the famous French writer was not alone in his experiences. To date, many cases have been recorded that tourists, shocked by the beauty, end up in hospitals with signs of this strange ailment called Stendhal Syndrome.
For the first time, this syndrome was described in 1979 by a psychiatrist from Florence, Grazella Magherini. She investigated over 100 cases of Stendhal Syndrome, telling, in particular, the story of a young tourist from Germany who lost consciousness on the steps of the basilica. And yet – she told about a young American – at one glance at the sculpture of David, he lost his memory for a while.
Symptoms of Stendhal Syndrome
Symptoms of Stendhal syndrome are a strong heartbeat, dizziness, a feeling of lack of support under the legs that occurs in someone who is in the zone of influence of works of art, in the place of their concentration. Up to a complete loss of orientation in space and hallucinations.
Most likely to get Stendhal Syndrome in women from 25 to 40 years old. Also, people are impressionable, educated, with a high level of culture. Especially if a person for a long time hatched the idea of travel, he looked forward to meeting with the masterpieces of art and architecture.