Tag Archives: Graziella Magherini

Hyperarmitagemania? RA & the Stendhal Syndrome


Stendhal Syndrome, also known as Florence Syndrome, Hyperkulteremia:  a pyschosomatic disorder that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and even hallucinations, when a person is exposed to art, particularly when the artwork is beautiful or a large amount of art is in a single space. The term can also be used to describe a similar reaction to a surfeit of choices in other circumstances, such as when confronted with immense beauty in the natural world.


Fainting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The condition is named for French writer Henri-Marie Beyle, better known by his pen name Stendhal, who described his experience with the phenomenon during his 1817 visit to Florence in the book “Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio.”

Since the early 19th century, there have been many descriptions of people becoming dizzy or faint while taking in Florentine art, especially at the Uffizi. But the term “Stendhal Syndrome” was not termed until 1979, when it was described by Italian psychiatrist Graziella Magherini, who observed and described more than 100 similar cases among tourists and visitors in Florence. (information provided by Wikipedia)

If Mr. Armitage, with all his physical beauty, grace and natural elegance can be perceived as a work of art in his own right, my question is this: can being exposed to large amounts of such a gorgeous creature as Richard Armitage tend to evoke a similar response in those who admire him? Not that I’ve actually fainted or had any hallucinations–but I have felt discombobulated (confused) and more than a little dizzy at times.  Especially in recent months, when we’ve been bombarded with so much Armitage beauty in video interviews, in new photo shoots, red carpet events, et al. Overwhelmed by it all at times, but in a good way.

Which brings to mind that old pop song–with a slight change of wording.

“I’m so dizzy my head is spinning, like a whirlpool it never ends,

and it’s you, RICH, making it spin, you’re making me dizzy . . .”

“Dizzy” by Tommy Roe