The Sin by Heinrich Lossow

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The Sin by Heinrich Lossow

Heinrich Lossow (10 March 1843 in Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria – 19 May 1897 in Schleissheim, Austria-Hungary) was a German genre painter and illustrator. He was a prolific pornographer in his spare time.

The plot of the picture The Sin is thematically related to the “Banquet of Chestnuts”. This name was given to a scandalous dinner, allegedly held in the Papal Palace by the former Cardinal Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI on October 30, 1501. The banquet report was preserved in the Latin diary of the Protonotarius the Apostle and the ceremonies of Master Johann Burchard (it is called Liber Notarum), but its accuracy is disputed.

According to the chronicler, a banquet was given at Cesare’s apartments in the Palazzo Apostolico. Fifty prostitutes or courtesans were present to entertain the guests of the banquet. Burchard describes this scene in his diary:

“On the evening of the last day of October 1501, Cesare Borgia arranged a feast at his chambers in the Vatican with“ fifty honest prostitutes, ”called courtesans, who danced in the afternoon with servants and other people present, first in their clothes and then naked. After dinner, candelabra with burning candles were removed from the tables and laid on the floor, and around were scattered chestnuts, which the naked courtesans picked up, crawling on all fours between the candelabra, while Papa, Cesare and his sister Lucretia watched. enes prizes for those who could perform the act often with courtesans. The winners were awarded with tunics of silk, shoes and other things. “

However, modern scholars cast doubt on the veracity of the story of the “Chestnut Banquet”. Its internal implausibility is noted, as well as the fact that it is mentioned only in Burchard’s memoirs.

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