Stendhal syndrome, Angel says, is a medical term. It’s when a painting, or any form of art, is so beautiful it overwhelms the viewer. It’s a form of shock. When Standhal toured the Church of Santa Croce in Florence in 1817, he reported almost fainting from joy. People feel rapid heart palpitations. They get dizzy. Looking at great art makes you forget your own name, forget even where you’re at. It can bring on depression and physical exhaustion. Amnesia. Panic. Heart attack. Collapse.
-Chuck Palahnuik, Diary