Does Art Make You Sick? Scientists Think There Might Be A Reason Why

  • Share
  • Read Later

Image by © MANUEL H. DE LEON/epa/Corbis

Ever felt unwell while at a museum?  There actually may be a medical explanation for it.

Scientists are planning on conducting tests to determine if exposure to great works of art can have a physical effect on people. In other words, is Stendhal syndrome—a condition where a person is so overcome, they swoon or feel faint—real?

By monitoring the vital signs of tourists in Florence, scientists are hoping to determine once and for all, why art aficionados go weak in the knees. Why Florence? It’s where art critic Stendhal first recorded the syndrome.

Will the syndrome turn out to be legitimate? Jonathan Jones at the Guardian seems to think so. You can wait for the results of the study or test the theory yourself by checking out TIME’s photo gallery of Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Note: NewsFeed accepts no responsibility for the swooning of readers).