U nastavku sledi odlomak iz monografije posvećene delima i životu Vinsenta van Goga na osnovu koga se može obaviti pokušaj razumevanja pozicije, uloge i karakteristika mnogih umetnika 19. veka.
„Yet van Gogh naturally remained a child of his age. He grew up in a century when people for the first time saw their own existence as everything, with no transcendental support system – a century that produced many odd and even self-destructive characters.
The Austrian art historian Hans Sedlmayr gives the title ‘The vacant throne’ to the final chapter of his essay in cultural criticism, „The Loss of the Centre“ [Verlust der Mitte]. Sedlmayr writes: „It must be added that the artists have been among those who suffered the most in the 19th and 20th centuries, the very people whose task it has been to render the Fall of Mann and of his world visible in their terrible visions. In the 19th century there was an altogether new type of suffering artist: the lonely, lost, despairing artist on the bank of insanity. It was type that previously only occured in isolated instances, if that. The 19th century artists, great and profound minds, often have the character of sacrificial victims, of victims who sacrifice themselves. From Hoelderlin, Goya, Friedrich, Runge and Kleist through Daumier, Stifter, Nietze and Dostoyevky to van Gogh, Strindberg and Trakl there was a line of solidarity in suffering at the hands of the times. All of them suffered frim the fact that God was remote, and ‘dead’, and Man debased.“
Van Gogh’s chairs constitute a metaphor of the crisis of the entirs century, a metaphor that correspondents to the somewhat forced pathos of Sedlmayr’s account. We cannot graspvan Gogh’s own via dolorosa, through to his fits of madness and final suicide, in isolation from the century he lived in. Van gogh’s ailment was maladie du siecle, the self-fulfilling Weltschmertz, that Sedlmayr attempts to explain by the loss of belief in God.“
Ingo F. Walther, ‘Deserted’, in: „Van Gogh“ (Complete Paintings), Tashen, Koeln, 2006, p. 10-11.