Saturday, 16 May 2015

Florence and Stendhal

Art, good art has to power to move you and touch you and make you emotional. I think all of us can remember being moved to tears by music, or be in awe over a beautiful painting or sculpture.

When there are so many beautiful pieces of art together as there are in Florence, it is easy for a tourist to get overwhelmed.
Made by della Robbia, at the Ospedale degli Innocenti

Nineteenth century French author Stendhal recalled that when he visited Florence, he was dizzy and could not breath and had heart palpitations due to all the beauty that surrounded him.

He was not the only one, it seems that dozens of tourists every year need to be admitted to the emergency-rooms in the hospitals of Florence with similar symptoms like fainting in the Uffizi.

Psychiatrist Graziella Magherini wrote a book about it in the seventies and she named this the Stendhal-syndrome. Other question if this really exists, but I think it is not strange to think Florence has the power to overwhelm people.
Painting of the Madonna by Botticelli
Florence is a city that can make people lose their mind for a moment. Luckily it is not serious and after some rest most of the inflicted tourists will enjoy the rest of their trip to Florence.

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