ART & ORGANISM
notes and reading
I was visiting Jerusalem and like a dutiful tourist, of course I visited The Church of the Holy Sepulchre. While standing in the main structure taking in the other tourists as wall as the church, a line of nuns crossed nearby. One of them suddenly fell to the floor and began sobbing; her friends stood by, comforted and consoled her. I inquired and was told she suddenly noticed a paving stone in the floor engraved with the information that THIS was where the body of Jesus, taken down from the cross, was washed.
“Being psychologically overcome by the artistic beauty and cultural significance of Florence was first personally reported in 1817 by the French author Stendhal.1 More recently, a Florentine psychiatrist reported a series of 106 visitors admitted to hospital between 1977 and 1986 after experiencing acute transient psychiatric symptoms in response to viewing the art of Florence.2 She dubbed this phenomenon “Stendhal syndrome,” a term that was subsequently popularised in the 1996 thriller of the same name by Italian director Dario Argento. Two-thirds experienced paranoid psychoses, while the remainder developed predominantly affective or anxiety states. Many had extensively prepared for the visit and had previous contact with psychiatric services. Western European tourists seemed to be more vulnerable than Americans, while no Italians were affected. The syndrome has also been called “hyperkulturemia”3 but otherwise has received little attention in the scientific literature. // Although Florence is of great cultural and artistic significance, it is unlikely that the syndrome is limited to there. Similar symptoms can be triggered by other extreme cultural experiences, especially if long-anticipated and of great personal significance, most notably in the “Jerusalem syndrome” precipitated by historical and religious sites.4 (Brit. Med J. Case Report) Stendhal syndrome: a case of cultural overload. Timothy Richard Joseph Nicholson, Carmine Pariante, and Declan McLoughlin (BMJ Case Rep. 2009; 2009: bcr06.2008.0317) doi: 10.1136/bcr.06.2008.0317)
from a posting by Dr. Mark Griffiths
- STENDHAL SYNDROME: READ: https://drmarkgriffiths.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/art-attack-a-beginners-guide-to-stendhal-syndrome/
- FRISSON. (usually, “autonomic attributes of pleasurable stress”) Affect, Emotion (and see ART and EMOTION including The Parable of Cynthia’s Tears (and Rothko Chapel and Chauvet Cave)