Scientists Are Heart-Monitoring Art Audiences

Comments

1
jen... girl... art makes my head hurt..i went to moma in nyc a few years ago to see that famous german guy..whasis name ?.. the one that did the portraits of the baden meinhof gang.. and the painting of the toilet paper..and the chicago nurses that were murdred by that crazy guy in the 60's ...what is that child's name ?..an hour of it made my head throb.. i had to sit down and then i couldn't breathe and then i had to leave... what is that child's name ?
2
film maestro dario argento has a movie about the syndrome with his foxy daughter asia http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117658/. the movie is good but not great like his other movies "susperia" or "profundo rosso"
3
riz! gerhard richter!
4
@1, Gerhard Richter is his name.
5
Crap, too slow for Jen.
6
If Stendhal syndrome ever existed, and it probably did in Stendhal's day and before, I don't think it does anymore. Art used to be hugely powerful because images were relatively rare. Now in the days of photography and film and CGI... I think art is at a huge disadvantage to elicit the same reactions.
7
@6, The painted image was relatively rare, but everyone and their uncle had at least a print, and a great number of the churches had at least an altarpiece. Maybe not an image saturated world, but the image certainly was not rare.

The image remains powerful. I have heard at least anecdotal evidence of physical reaction (maybe not Stendhal's level) to the newest spate of 3D films. And I know that I was nearly overwhelmed when I visited the Louvre (so much art and history in one place and only a day to take in as much as I could). Art still has the power to move. If I can feel that way, in this day and age, then certainly others have and still can be pushed over the edge.
8
@6: Speak for yourself. To me, a museum visit doesn't really count unless it Stendhals me at least once. Not that I've ever thought of it in quite those pretentious terms until just now.
9
Indeed, if they are in Florence, why aren't they going to the Uffizi?

Other places they could go: Louvre, the NY MET, the Prado, the British Museum, The Vatican Museums, or the Hermitage. Why aren't they visiting someplace with a massive collection, isn't part of Stendhal syndrome being overwhelmed by the sheer choice of what to look at?
10
But the whole study is silly anyway---Stendahl syndrome is not cardiac, it's neurological, with delirium, confusion, etc. Why would cardiac monitoring pick it up?

And why does an article about Florence open with a picture of a Roman sight?
11
@10, Maybe the newspaper thought that the Sistine Chapel would be more instantly recognizable as Italian art in the public mind than the Palazzo Medici Riccardi?

Although Stendhal's is primarily neurological, I don't think it's unreasonable or silly to investigate its physical effects. Ailments like depression and anxiety disorders which are thought of as primarily head problems have very real physical effects.
12
Naaah 11, I actually think on reflection that the Sistine Chapel may have been a deliberate choice---the way the Ghirlandaios, Botticellis, etc are all topped off by the Michelangelo Buonarroti ceiling is evocative of being overwhelmed by. all. that. art. Personally, I can never spend more than fifteen minutes in the Sistine Chapel. Too much.

But still, I suspect the researchers were just trying to come up with a grant that would let them hang out in Florence for a couple of weeks---and measuring heart rates is easy and easily quantifiable. Easier by far than, say, a questionnaire-based study, which would be a nightmare to design and administer in the polyglot tourist world.