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Marlet's painting of the match between Saint-Amant and Staunton: the original, the lithograph, and the copies
by Jean Oliver Leconte
This article concerns the conflict about the painting made by Jean Henry Marlet during the match played in 1843 between Saint-Amant and Staunton. More exactly this painting represents the 19th game of the match, played on December 16, 1843 at the Paris Chess Club (Cercle des Échecs de Paris). This conflict led to a lawsuit between Saint-Amant and the painter Marlet.
The painting of Marlet is an exceptional document in many ways:
- Most of the notabilities of the Chess Club (Cercle des Échecs de Paris - on the 1st floor of the Café de la Régence) are represented, with the significant exception of Deschapelles.
- It is to our knowledge the only representation of the Chess Club of this time.
I discovered in the Parisian press of the time the report of the lawsuit which opposed the painter Marlet to Saint-Amant about the painting. This report brings several very interesting details which Saint-Amant mentions partially in the chess review Le Palamède.
There are, so to speak, at least 3 different versions of this painting:
- The original by Marlet
- A lithograph by Alexandre Laemlein
- Copies painted from the engraving.
Our member, the former President of the German Chess Federation and passionate chess historian Herbert Bastian turned 70 years on 10 December 2022. Born 1952 in Emmersweiler, a small town in the German region of Saarland, near the Franco-German border, Herbert developed his great chess talent in the local chess club since 1966 and became several times champion of his native Saarland. In 1972, he participated at federal level and won the Dähne-Cup in 1976. Although being among the German elite players, Herbert chose a civil career and became a school teacher for mathematics. But even as an amateur he out-calculated Viktor Korchnoi in a memorable game from the GM tournament of Baden-Baden in 1981 (see below). He became shared second at the German championship a year later and represented German colours at the European team championship in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) 1983. He also played in the Bundesliga and scored his 20th(!) title as champion of Saarland in 1992. His constant successes earned him the IM title in 2005. As recent as 2020, he still participated in the federal championships with a remarkable performance of 4/9 at 2300 ELO level.