A Mild Case of Stendhal Syndrome • Block Features

wiseGEEK
clear answers for common questions

Feedback
About wiseGEEK


Category: 

Health

  • Health
  • Medicine
  • Fitness
  • Anatomy
  • Science
  • Food
  • Technology
  • Internet
  • Business
  • Education
  • Beauty
  • Language
  • Miscellaneous
  • Industry
  • Crafts
  • Cars
  • Home
  • Finance
  • Fashion
  • Art
  • United States
  • Environment
  • Travel
  • History
  • People
  • World
  • Law
  • Hobbies

What is Stendhal Syndrome?

  • Symptoms of Stendhal and similar syndromes may require hospitalization for some.

  • Dizziness and fainting are among the symptoms of Stendhal syndrome.

  • Symptoms of Stendhal syndrome include anxiety and heart palpitations.

  • Travel experts advise tourists to not try to take everything in at one time when visiting Italy in order to avoid developing Stendhal syndrome.

  • Counseling services may be required to treat psychosomatic illnesses like stendhal syndrome.

View slideshow of images above
Watch the Did-You-Know slideshow

Follow @wiseGEEK

Article Details

  • Written By:
    Laura M. Sands

  • Edited By: Heather Bailey

  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2018

  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018

    Conjecture Corporation

Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

Did You Know?

In June 2018, Algeria shut down the Internet for several hours each day to prevent students from cheating on exams. 
more…

get widget

This Day in History

October 9
, 
1967
: 
Guerrilla leader Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was executed by the Bolivian army. 
more…

get widget

Subscribe to wiseGEEK

Learn something new every day
More Info…
by email

wiseGEEK Slideshows

  • Top 10 facts about the world

    Top 10 facts about the world


  • Can you see through these real-life optical illusions?

    Can you see through these real-life optical illusions?


  • Adorable animal families that will make you

    Adorable animal families that will make you “aww”


  • Top 10 unbelievable historical concurrencies

    Top 10 unbelievable historical concurrencies


  • 10 hilariously insightful foreign words

    10 hilariously insightful foreign words


  • You won't believe these 10 facts about people

    You won’t believe these 10 facts about people


  • Top 10 amazing movie makeup transformations

    Top 10 amazing movie makeup transformations


  • These 10 animal facts will amaze you
    These 10 animal facts will amaze you

    These 10 animal facts will amaze you


  • These 10 facts about space will blow your mind

    These 10 facts about space will blow your mind


  • 10 most extreme places on Earth

    10 most extreme places on Earth

Stendhal syndrome is a psychosomatic illness that occurs as a reaction to art. Also known as hyperkulturemia, this particular condition produces an overwhelming reaction to a large amount of art being gathered in one place or if a work of art is particularly attractive to the viewer. Stendhal syndrome produces actual physical symptoms as the result of the psychological and emotional reaction to art.

Stendhal’s syndrome is named in honor of the famous French writer, Stendhal, who experienced overwhelming symptoms of anxiety and even fainted while viewing art in Italy. It was an Italian psychologist named Graziella Magherini, however, who in the 1970s first began to apply this label to others with symptoms similar to those first described by Stendhal in the 19th century. Symptoms of Stendhal syndrome include anxiety, heart palpitations, dizziness and fainting. Some individuals experiencing this condition have even been noted to experience hallucinations while observing great works of art.

Stendhal syndrome can be experienced by anyone overwhelmed by artistic masterpieces. It most commonly occurs, however, in individuals visiting works of art in Florence, Italy, which is why it is also called Florence syndrome by some. It is such a frequently occurring syndrome in this part of the world that hospital staff workers in that area report that symptoms are commonly recognized when disoriented patients arrive at a hospital soon after admiring nearby works of art.

Ad

Travel experts advise tourists to not try to take everything in at one time when visiting Italy in order to avoid developing Stendhal syndrome. Experts further advise that art lovers balance their time between viewing art and doing other activities, such as attending sporting events, shopping or dining out. By doing so, the odds of becoming overwhelmed by too much artistic beauty are reduced, as are the odds of experiencing Stendhal syndrome symptoms.

In her book on the subject, “La syndrome de Stendhal,” Dr. Magherini explains that, while Stendhal syndrome is a rare psychosomatic illness, it most commonly occurs in tourists who have created stress symptoms by attempting to see and do too much during a visit to a city famous for its museums, art galleries and historical landmarks. Similar syndromes, such as Paris syndrome and Jerusalem syndrome , have been known to occur in Paris and Jerusalem as individuals become overwhelmed while viewing significant religious and cultural artifacts in each country. For some, symptoms of these syndromes have even led to hospitalization and have required some individuals to undergo antidepressant therapies.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Related wiseGEEK Articles

What Is Auto-Brewery Syndrome?
What Is Paris Syndrome?
What is Jacobsen Syndrome?
What is Jerusalem Syndrome?
What is Psychosomatic?
What is Art?
What is Foreign Accent Syndrome?

Ad

Discuss this Article

popcorn
Post 2

Has anyone ever met or known anyone that suffers from Stendhal syndrome?

I think it is interesting how our emotions and intellect play off one another to create actual physical symptoms. There are so many different kinds of psychosomatic illnesses that it never ceases to amaze me how people can actually make themselves sick just by thinking about something.

I think one of the most common examples of a psychosomatic illness is reading about something that would make you feel itchy, and then you itch. This always happens to me when someone mentions head lice or insect bites. I just can’t help but to start itching and scratching.

wander
Post 1

This is the first time I have ever heard of the Stendhal syndrome and I find it fascinating that such a condition has been labeled. I have traveled extensively and have had the opportunity to visit a lot of great landmarks. Besides landmarks, I have also had the chance to view some of the most famous art in the world.

Sometimes when visiting an artwork I have experienced dizziness or felt like I would swoon, but I am sure it had very little to do with the painting. I find if you are a tourist you often have a short time to view a lot of things and tend to push yourself too hard. This can result in exhaustion and feeling quite ill. I wonder how many cases of outright exhaustion and travel stress have been mistaken for Stendhal syndrome?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

Register

Make changes/additions/deletions to the article below, and one of our editors will publish your suggestions if warranted.

Optional: Explanation of your recommended changes

Thank You!

One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted.
Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive,
this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!

wiseGEEK
clear answers for common questions

FAQ
Login
Contact Us
Privacy Policy
Terms and Conditions

Copyright © 2003 – 2018
Conjecture Corporation

Quantcast

wiseGEEK
clear answers for common questions

Feedback
About wiseGEEK


Category: 

Health

  • Health
  • Medicine
  • Fitness
  • Anatomy
  • Science
  • Food
  • Technology
  • Internet
  • Business
  • Education
  • Beauty
  • Language
  • Miscellaneous
  • Industry
  • Crafts
  • Cars
  • Home
  • Finance
  • Fashion
  • Art
  • United States
  • Environment
  • Travel
  • History
  • People
  • World
  • Law
  • Hobbies

What is Stendhal Syndrome?

  • Symptoms of Stendhal and similar syndromes may require hospitalization for some.

  • Dizziness and fainting are among the symptoms of Stendhal syndrome.

  • Symptoms of Stendhal syndrome include anxiety and heart palpitations.

  • Travel experts advise tourists to not try to take everything in at one time when visiting Italy in order to avoid developing Stendhal syndrome.

  • Counseling services may be required to treat psychosomatic illnesses like stendhal syndrome.

View slideshow of images above
Watch the Did-You-Know slideshow

Follow @wiseGEEK

Article Details

  • Written By:
    Laura M. Sands

  • Edited By: Heather Bailey

  • Last Modified Date: 05 October 2018

  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018

    Conjecture Corporation

Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

Did You Know?

In June 2018, Algeria shut down the Internet for several hours each day to prevent students from cheating on exams. 
more…

get widget

This Day in History

October 9
, 
1967
: 
Guerrilla leader Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara was executed by the Bolivian army. 
more…

get widget

Subscribe to wiseGEEK

Learn something new every day
More Info…
by email

wiseGEEK Slideshows

  • Can you see through these real-life optical illusions?

    Can you see through these real-life optical illusions?


  • Adorable animal families that will make you

    Adorable animal families that will make you “aww”


  • Top 10 facts about the world

    Top 10 facts about the world


  • 10 most extreme places on Earth

    10 most extreme places on Earth


  • You won't believe these 10 facts about people

    You won’t believe these 10 facts about people


  • These 10 animal facts will amaze you
    These 10 animal facts will amaze you

    These 10 animal facts will amaze you


  • 10 hilariously insightful foreign words

    10 hilariously insightful foreign words


  • Top 10 amazing movie makeup transformations

    Top 10 amazing movie makeup transformations


  • Top 10 unbelievable historical concurrencies

    Top 10 unbelievable historical concurrencies


  • These 10 facts about space will blow your mind

    These 10 facts about space will blow your mind

Stendhal syndrome is a psychosomatic illness that occurs as a reaction to art. Also known as hyperkulturemia, this particular condition produces an overwhelming reaction to a large amount of art being gathered in one place or if a work of art is particularly attractive to the viewer. Stendhal syndrome produces actual physical symptoms as the result of the psychological and emotional reaction to art.

Stendhal’s syndrome is named in honor of the famous French writer, Stendhal, who experienced overwhelming symptoms of anxiety and even fainted while viewing art in Italy. It was an Italian psychologist named Graziella Magherini, however, who in the 1970s first began to apply this label to others with symptoms similar to those first described by Stendhal in the 19th century. Symptoms of Stendhal syndrome include anxiety, heart palpitations, dizziness and fainting. Some individuals experiencing this condition have even been noted to experience hallucinations while observing great works of art.

Stendhal syndrome can be experienced by anyone overwhelmed by artistic masterpieces. It most commonly occurs, however, in individuals visiting works of art in Florence, Italy, which is why it is also called Florence syndrome by some. It is such a frequently occurring syndrome in this part of the world that hospital staff workers in that area report that symptoms are commonly recognized when disoriented patients arrive at a hospital soon after admiring nearby works of art.

Ad

Travel experts advise tourists to not try to take everything in at one time when visiting Italy in order to avoid developing Stendhal syndrome. Experts further advise that art lovers balance their time between viewing art and doing other activities, such as attending sporting events, shopping or dining out. By doing so, the odds of becoming overwhelmed by too much artistic beauty are reduced, as are the odds of experiencing Stendhal syndrome symptoms.

In her book on the subject, “La syndrome de Stendhal,” Dr. Magherini explains that, while Stendhal syndrome is a rare psychosomatic illness, it most commonly occurs in tourists who have created stress symptoms by attempting to see and do too much during a visit to a city famous for its museums, art galleries and historical landmarks. Similar syndromes, such as Paris syndrome and Jerusalem syndrome , have been known to occur in Paris and Jerusalem as individuals become overwhelmed while viewing significant religious and cultural artifacts in each country. For some, symptoms of these syndromes have even led to hospitalization and have required some individuals to undergo antidepressant therapies.

Ad

You might also Like

Recommended

Related wiseGEEK Articles

What Is Auto-Brewery Syndrome?
What Is Paris Syndrome?
What is Jacobsen Syndrome?
What is Jerusalem Syndrome?
What is Psychosomatic?
What is Art?
What is Foreign Accent Syndrome?

Ad

Discuss this Article

popcorn
Post 2

Has anyone ever met or known anyone that suffers from Stendhal syndrome?

I think it is interesting how our emotions and intellect play off one another to create actual physical symptoms. There are so many different kinds of psychosomatic illnesses that it never ceases to amaze me how people can actually make themselves sick just by thinking about something.

I think one of the most common examples of a psychosomatic illness is reading about something that would make you feel itchy, and then you itch. This always happens to me when someone mentions head lice or insect bites. I just can’t help but to start itching and scratching.

wander
Post 1

This is the first time I have ever heard of the Stendhal syndrome and I find it fascinating that such a condition has been labeled. I have traveled extensively and have had the opportunity to visit a lot of great landmarks. Besides landmarks, I have also had the chance to view some of the most famous art in the world.

Sometimes when visiting an artwork I have experienced dizziness or felt like I would swoon, but I am sure it had very little to do with the painting. I find if you are a tourist you often have a short time to view a lot of things and tend to push yourself too hard. This can result in exhaustion and feeling quite ill. I wonder how many cases of outright exhaustion and travel stress have been mistaken for Stendhal syndrome?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

Register

Make changes/additions/deletions to the article below, and one of our editors will publish your suggestions if warranted.

Optional: Explanation of your recommended changes

Thank You!

One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted.
Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive,
this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!

wiseGEEK
clear answers for common questions

FAQ
Login
Contact Us
Privacy Policy
Terms and Conditions

Copyright © 2003 – 2018
Conjecture Corporation

Quantcast