(b. 1500, Firenze, d. 1571, Firenze)
Nymph of Fontainebleau1542-44
Bronze, 205 x 409 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
The first surviving monumental piece by Cellini is this bronze lunette for the Porte Dorée at Fontainebleau. The relief, the only extant part of his portal decoration, illustrates a variant of the legend of Fontainebleau (a hunting dog discovered a spring and its goddess in the forest) from a lost fresco by Rosso. A nymph reclines like a Classical river god - her arm round the stag with a three-dimensional head - flanked by hunting dogs and boars. Her large form, against a foil of intricate details, demonstrates that articulating the body on a large scale was not Cellini's forte.