I told some friends how buildings make me cry, and my friend Sam Bennett reminded me of something called Stendahl Syndrome, which a headline writer for Psychology Today wittily dubbed “Having an Art Attack.”
I’ve never had a work of art render me catatonic, or require hospitalization, although I think Florence, Italy, could overwhelm anyone. I’ve only visited briefly, but even at the tender age of 9 I remember it as wall-to-wall art. Heck, they didn’t even need walls. They’ve got art everywhere. I even remembered having seen Michelangelo’s David in a plaza somewhere, although every photograph clearly places him indoors. Not so! Apparently Florence is so besotted by the statue they’ve put replicas everywhere (second from the bottom is the one I remember).
Kind of like the Statue of Liberty replicas you see in every tourist area of New York City.
Anyway, if Stendahl Syndrome doesn’t prove that it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, I think the photo above definitely does.
I don’t cry every time I see a work of art. But I definitely cuss up a storm when I run into selfie-snappie tourists in Times Square.