© Helmut Newton
The Banquet of Chestnuts - an orgy which took place in the Vatican on 30 October, 1501.
Burchard, who was the only witness of the notorious ‘Chestnut supper’, wrote: “On Sunday evening, the last day of October, there took place in the apartments of the Duke Valentino in the Apostolic Palace, a supper, participated in by fifty honest prostitutes of those who are called courtesans. After supper they danced with the servants and others who were there, first clothed, then naked. After supper the lighted candelabra which had been on the table were placed on the floor, and chestnuts thrown among them which the prostitutes had to pick up as they crawled between the candles. The Pope, the Duke and Lucrezia, his sister, were present looking on. At the end they displayed prizes, silk mantles, boots, caps, and other objects which were promised to whomsoever should have made love to those prostitutes the greatest number of times.”