Starry Night over Rhone and the Stendhal syndrome

Have you ever seen the paintings stirring your emotion so strongly? Or have you ever heard of Stendhal syndrome(aka Florence syndrome)?

“I was in a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty… I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations… Everything spoke so vividly to my soul. Ah, if I could only forget. I had palpitations of the heart, what in Berlin they call ‘nerves.’ Life was drained from me. I walked with the fear of falling.”(Stendhal)

Despite being an art-museum goer, I thought this syndrome was a merely exaggeration from an exuberant French writer until I saw this painting in Musée d’Orsay. As a big fan of Gogh paintings for many years, I already have seen many of his paintings including the famous Starry Night in MOMA at NYC. But this painting was the only painting that it nearly made me cry. I tried really hard to hold my tears.

I knew that Gogh’s life as an artist was quite miserable already financially and mentally.  But this painting is astonishingly beautiful but at the same time, I can sense his loneliness spending long time drawing the riverside for a long time. It marveled me how Gogh saw the world in so different and more beautiful way.

I was gazing this painting for a while.I overheard people saying “It’s pretty. No wonder Gogh’s paintings are expensive“. They watched the painting about five seconds and left.

Well, I thought it was the most beautiful painting in the museum but it might be one of the prettiest paintings in the museum for many people.

Do you have any starstruck moment over a certain painting? If not, I wish you experience that. It’s an amazing memory.


[Book recommendation]

“Van Gogh, the complete paintings”,Taschen, Rainer Metzger &Ingo F. Walther


It’s a VERY HEAVY and Lengthy book but it worths reading if you are a die hard fan of Gogh. Van Gogh, who took up a variety of professions before becoming an artist, was a solitary, despairing and self-destructive man. This richly illustrated and expert study follows the artist from the early gloom-laden paintings in which he captured the misery of peasants and workers in his homeland, through his bright and colorful Parisian period, to the work of his final years, spent under a southern sun in Arles.




Author: amysfernweh

Hi, this is Amy. I'm a data scientist but I like reading, going to art museums and traveling for my free time. If you want to connect with me, shoot me an Thanks!

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