Stendhal Index
Measuring the emotional engagement of an artistic work
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What is it
The Stendhal Index is the metric that measures the emotional engagement of a work of art. It takes its cue from the acronym used by the French author Marie-Henri Beyle, who first documented such overwhelming emotional feelings in front of a painting that resulted in a syndrome that carries his name.
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Stendhal Index
Art = Emotion
What does it measure
A work of art, given its particular beauty and majesty, can generate a strong, even destabilizing, emotional activation that can trigger different physiological reactions. Emotion AI can meter this by using computer vision algorithms to measure micro-facial expressions and encode emotional responses.
Facial muscle activations (AUs) are classified and correlated with each other to determine the expression and intensity of the emotion felt. The Stendhal Index is the output of a series of parameters such as engagement, attention, and emotional responsiveness, computed while people view a work of art.
Engagement
Determining how intense the emotions are, allows you to understand how well the opera can transfer these feelings to the audience.
Attention
Activation of attention to a piece of art may arise from a visual element related to a person's memory.
Emotional response
Figuring out which emotions emerge and are predominant allows understanding which emotional drivers make people appreciate the artwork.
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Why measure emotions in art

Art = emotion. It is the perfect equation, but art is also unquestionably thought and consideration that leads the viewer to develop a critical spirit about the message the artist wants to communicate. It is important to consider that without an appropriate emotional response, this thought hardly has a place to flourish. It is also important to emphasize that emotions in the sight of a work of art are subjective.
How then is it possible to measure engagement objectively? By measuring hundreds of people for each artwork, in this way, statistically pooled data is constructed.
Emotional engagement is independent of the emotional valence generated and is the primary parameter to consider. For a piece of art to have worth, it must necessarily arouse emotional activation, but this does not necessarily have to be positive; on the contrary. Frequently highly appreciated artworks generate negative emotions such as sadness and anger precisely because they stir our thoughts and feelings.
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The project
The project is a collaboration between Emotiva and Reasoned Art, the first Italian startup dedicated to crypto-art, which is certified digital art sold through blockchain and NFT technology.
Emotiva uses its proprietary Emotion AI technology to capture the data and has specially developed an algorithm to calculate the Stendhal Index. Reasoned Art, on the other hand, uses metrics to emphasize the emotional impact of the artworks it deals with.
For the first time in the world, we have an objective rating for evaluating art based on the emotions the public feels when observing it. The combination of art and emotion is well recognized. Starting today, we have the opportunity to valorize these emotions commercially.
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