“The most perfect technique is that which is not noticed.” ~Pablo Casals
Left: Giotto di Bondone, Bust of an Angel (after 1304). Polychrome mosaic. The Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter, Vatican City State. © Cittá del Vaticano.
‘Tis the Season of Hyperkulturemia
We can thank the French author, Henri-Marie Beyle (nom-de-plume, ‘Stendhal’) for that strange rush we feel when we first enter a holiday-stocked department store, or stand, be-dazed and bedazzled in front of the twinkling Christmas tree, piled high ‘round with colorful gifts and gadgets. That unfamiliar buzzing of the brain, best described as a trance-like state of immobility (as in, where do I start!?), accompanied by a glazing over of the eyes and a slight numbing sensation around the mouth is not unfamiliar to some. Neurologists have described it well, and art lovers have experienced it—long before it became symptomatic of our Age of Consumer Overload. It is called Stendhal Syndrome, and like so many other sensory excesses traceable to the Italian Renaissance. They should have known better than to wow us with the Sistine Chapel, or The David’s dramatic proportions, those awe-inspiring Duomo’s or Botticelli’s delicate and all-so-very-human gestures in The Annunciation or The Three Graces. These, and so many other of the city’s treasures, await discovery in the city-sized museum called, Florence. artes fine arts magazine (more…)