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Stendhal syndrome

Stendhal syndrome is named after the famous 19th century French author Stendhal (pseudonym of Marie-Henri Beyle), who first described the phenomenon in one of his writings.

It is a psychosomatic illness that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and hallucinations when the individual is exposed to an overdose of beautiful art, paintings and artistic masterpieces.

There is also a horror film called The Stendhal Syndrome (penned and directed by Dario Argento) in which a policewoman suffering from Stendhal syndrome is trapped by a serial killer in a museum.

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