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BS: David Syndrome

Shanghaiceltic 13 Nov 05 - 06:23 PM
GUEST, topsie 13 Nov 05 - 06:45 PM
Jeri 13 Nov 05 - 06:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 05 - 07:29 PM
dianavan 13 Nov 05 - 08:45 PM
GUEST,David S. Syndrome 13 Nov 05 - 08:50 PM
GUEST 13 Nov 05 - 10:35 PM
Peace 14 Nov 05 - 01:28 AM
dianavan 14 Nov 05 - 02:07 AM
Peace 14 Nov 05 - 02:28 AM
Jeanie 14 Nov 05 - 02:52 AM
greg stephens 14 Nov 05 - 05:13 AM
Bill D 14 Nov 05 - 01:37 PM
Little Hawk 14 Nov 05 - 01:50 PM
Amos 14 Nov 05 - 01:51 PM
bobad 14 Nov 05 - 01:58 PM
SINSULL 14 Nov 05 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 14 Nov 05 - 04:18 PM
Joe Offer 14 Nov 05 - 04:52 PM
bobad 14 Nov 05 - 05:05 PM
Jeri 14 Nov 05 - 06:31 PM
Bill D 14 Nov 05 - 06:46 PM
bobad 14 Nov 05 - 06:48 PM
Joe Offer 14 Nov 05 - 07:31 PM
frogprince 15 Nov 05 - 12:12 AM
GUEST,bbc at work 15 Nov 05 - 11:27 AM
Bill D 15 Nov 05 - 11:31 AM
Gervase 15 Nov 05 - 12:12 PM
Ebbie 15 Nov 05 - 12:56 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Nov 05 - 01:23 PM
GUEST,bbc at work 16 Nov 05 - 11:26 AM
bbc 16 Nov 05 - 09:20 PM

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Subject: BS: David Syndrome
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 13 Nov 05 - 06:23 PM

I had to smile when I saw this article having been to Florence in Ocotber and seeing David in the flesh as it were.

I think there is a more simple explanation. Having queued for nearly 3 hours anyone would be set to feint, throw a fit and fowm at the mouth.

I liked Brian Sewell's comment at the end.



Now culture shock has an official name: David Syndrome
By Nick Pisa in Rome and Catherine Humble
(Filed: 13/11/2005)

Most visitors to Italy's cultural sights feel the pleasure that can come from looking at some of the world's most beautiful buildings and paintings.

Yet for some the thrill is so intense that they suffer sweating, shaking and fainting spells - and need hospital treatment to recover.

   
Dizzy spell: Michelangelo's David on show in Florence
According to medical staff at Florence's Santa Maria Nuova hospital more than 100 people have been admitted over the past four years suffering from dizziness and disorientation after admiring the masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery and other sights in the city.

Now an Italian psychiatrist is embarking on a detailed study of visitors to Michelangelo's David, regarded as the world's most beautiful statue, to measure their symptoms and assess its impact on their physical and mental well-being.

Graziella Magherini has begun a year-long study into the "emotional impact" of admiring the recently restored 500-year-old Renaissance masterpiece, which is viewed by almost a million people a year. Visitors will be asked to record their feelings as they gaze upon David.

Psychiatrists have long debated the existence of what is known as Stendhal Syndrome, a psychosomatic condition that causes rapid heartbeat, dizziness and even hallucinations when an individual is exposed to an "overdose" of beautiful art.

It is named after Stendhal, the pen name of 19th-century author Marie-Henrie Beyle, who gave an early detailed description of the phenomenon on a visit to Florence.

Prof Magherini said: "I believe a unique type of visitor establishes a direct bond with the statue that I call the David Syndrome. I'm convinced that admiring the statue causes mind-bending symptoms. It affects those who are creative and sensitive and those travelling on their own or in couples."

Doctors at Santa Maria Nuova say they regularly admit tourists suffering "mental imbalances" after taking in Florence's culture. One danger spot is the Uffizi, which contains Botticelli's The Birth of Venus and Leonardo da Vinci's Adoration of the Magi.

Dr Paolo Rossi Prodi, the director of psychiatry at the hospital, said: "The patients are usually Europeans or Americans, overwhelmed by the cultural shock of arriving in Florence.

" One theory is the viewing of so much culture and art brings on a sense of anguish and insecurity, something that the patient is not used to. We have to treat them with anti-depressants."

Italians were immune to the condition, according to Prof Magherini, along with the Japanese, who she said were so organised in their sightseeing that "they rarely have time for emotional attacks".

Stendhal recorded in 1817 how he was affected by the city's culture. "Everything spoke so vividly to my soul," he wrote. "If I could only forget. I had palpitations of the heart. Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling." Henry James and Marcel Proust both wrote of being agitated by Florence.

Dr Rossi described the case of a 40-year-old Briton who collapsed in the Uffizi. "He was in a terrible state," he said. "He was thrashing about and had taken complete leave of his senses. The last thing he remembered was looking at a Caravaggio; the rest was blank."

Galleries in Britain do not suffer in the same way. "We have never heard of anything like David Syndrome happening here," said a spokesman for the Royal Academy of Arts.

Brian Sewell, the art critic, said that it was hardly surprising. "With the Sistine Chapel it is perfectly understandable that someone might fall ill," he said. "No one could possibly faint in St Paul's Cathedral. If someone did they should be sent straight to the lunatic asylum."


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: GUEST, topsie
Date: 13 Nov 05 - 06:45 PM

100 people feeling dizzy in 4 years - 25 a year out of nearly a million visitors a year. Take any random million people and if only 25 a year feel ill that's surprisingly few.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Jeri
Date: 13 Nov 05 - 06:55 PM

I was in Italy on a european tour once. First there was Venice, then Rome and Florence. I never felt like fainting or having a major freak-out, but I called this phenomenon 'beauty overload'. It's hard, especially in Florence, to look in any direction without seeing something that knocks your socks off. Carvings on doors, marble statues flanking parking lots, fountains, paintings, and David bless his little fig leaf, is all over the place. Then, you have a beautiful blue sky with muscular clouds shadowed with umber and highlighted with rose and gold, aqua water that shimmers and sparkles in the liquid gold sunlight, and ubiquitous, fearless pigeons.

I realized early on that I hadn't brought enough money for souveneers. I shot the wad on film.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 05 - 07:29 PM

Great cheap wine...


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: dianavan
Date: 13 Nov 05 - 08:45 PM

I remember driving in rush hour traffic (I thought it was Pisa but it must have been Florence) and happening upon a colossal statue of David. I was awestruck and almost crashed. Coming from a country with very little public art, it was quite shocking. I can understand, in addition to an art overload in general, that someone might call it a syndrome but...

I agree with topsie, hardly enough people to call it much of anything except maybe impressive.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: GUEST,David S. Syndrome
Date: 13 Nov 05 - 08:50 PM

Would someone please find me a loincloth?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 05 - 10:35 PM

sure! here you go!

Bill D, who had unset his cookie to avoid a site with 40 more.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 01:28 AM

You're lookin' good, Bill. Gained a bit of weight since I saw your pic last, but hey, nice threads.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: dianavan
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 02:07 AM

Bill D - Is that really you? Cool nipple rings.

What kind of fur is that?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 02:28 AM

That there is, I suspect, dusyn fur.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Jeanie
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 02:52 AM

That's a relief ! When I saw this thread title, I thought it was going to be about the OTHER David Syndrome that is happening at the moment in the UK (the day-in day-out media saturation about the two Davids battling for leadership of the conservative party) - which brings on the same "sense of anguish, foaming at the mouth" etc. etc., but, I would guess, in a much larger proportion of people exposed to it than those exposed to the arty David in Florence.

Thanks to the media, we now know that one of the Tory Davids wears briefs and the other boxer shorts. Can't remember which one, but the image of either clad only in either of these is not entirely appetising and has certainly added to the symptoms of UK sufferers of the "Other David Syndrome." Better to have taken a (fig)leaf out of the Italian David's book, maybe.


- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: greg stephens
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 05:13 AM

fainting? That's nothing. Someone died listening to me play once.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 01:37 PM

naaaww, dianavan, that ain't me....that's my buddy, Ivan the Bellicose, who helps me keep the line in order at outdoor craft shows! And he claims that is Black Llama wool!, (the Llama took one look at him, turned white, and died!)

I'm sending Ivan to Chicago to reason with Martin Gibson.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 01:50 PM

Oh, good idea!


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Amos
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 01:51 PM

I think it is perfectly possible to be blown out of your head by really intense beauty. I have recently been looking at an interminable series of Iranian and Afghanian and Belgian carpets and runners, and on two occasions I was so struck by some intense beauty created by the weave and imagery that I gasped for breath. That's the price you pay for being a left-wing pinko softy, i guess. Anyway, beauty does that to ya -- and if you're over-accustomed to residing in the dark interior of your brain, using only nervous channels for perception, it can be quite discomfiting to be transported tot he surrounding aether in a fell second.

This indicates that "beauty" is a spiritual element, even though created in amterial media... Well, doh.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: bobad
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 01:58 PM

Amos

I don't know if it was intentionally coined (one can never tell with you) but I like the word amterial, a conjoining of american and material.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: SINSULL
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 03:03 PM

Does he play the banjo, Bill?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 04:18 PM

Ivan never got here. He slipped on his own schmuck and died.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 04:52 PM

When I was in high school, our English teacher showed us a slide show of his trip to Europe. When he got to the the statue of David, he stopped, wondering if Michelangelo's David had been circumcised. The photo wasn't sharp enough to give us an answer.

All my life, I've wondered about this question, and I've never received a definitive answer.

Was he, or wasn't he?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: bobad
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 05:05 PM

Yes Joe he is not.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Jeri
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 06:31 PM

Bobad is correct. I have a photo.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Bill D
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 06:46 PM

seems to me it would be pretty difficult (I avoided saying 'hard') to circumcise a statue without diamond cutters and patience.....but what do I know?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: bobad
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 06:48 PM

Michael Angelo could do it, no sweat.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Joe Offer
Date: 14 Nov 05 - 07:31 PM

Hey, didn't old David harvest 200 Philistine foreskins himself?
(1 Sam.18:25-27)

Maybe he just handed the rabbi a foreskin and skipped his own bris. Can't say I blame the guy...

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: frogprince
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 12:12 AM

Are they sure the fainters weren't John-Ashcroftians who collapsed at the sight of a marble peepee?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 11:27 AM

I want to know why photographers do David the disservice of rarely photographing the rear view. He has a great rear end & I had to go to Florence to see it.

best,

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 11:31 AM

like this?


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Gervase
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 12:12 PM

Sounds like a new name for an old phenomenon - the Stendhal Syndrome. It gets a mentioned a few times in commentaries on E.M.Forster's work, and is described here


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 12:56 PM

Amos, if I understand what you are saying, I suspect more than one of us has experienced that same phenomenon. It has happened to me in the presence of mountains and skies and music- almost not a pleasant sensation, it seems like the only options available are helpless tears or a faint.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Nov 05 - 01:23 PM

The power of suggestion shouldn't be discounted. If you tell a lot of people they might faint, some of them will faint.


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: GUEST,bbc at work
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 11:26 AM

Thanks, Bill; I needed that!   ;)

bbc


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Subject: RE: BS: David Syndrome
From: bbc
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 09:20 PM

Bill, you inspired me!

David's rear

bbc, smiling in NY (culture--it's culture!)


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