The work of Cellini that attracts Eric the most is the Nymph of Fontainebleau bas-relief in bronze. The nymph is Diana, goddess of hunting.
Cellini carved a firm, slender, supple body; the smooth modeling of the physique is set off by tight parallel folds of drapery and volutes representing water. The austere beauty of the face recalls antique sculpture, yet this stylized nude is redolent of sensuality.
Eric compares the beauty of the carved goddess to that of Venus painted by Botticelli. The body shapes are elegant; the physical beauty captures the concepts expressed by the philosophy of Plato, the expression of the spiritual quality of inner purity.
Venus is impregnated by the breath of Zephyr and not by a sexual act, thus her purity remains intact. The nudity of Diana and Venus are like an ode to purity, unadorned simplicity of the soul, because a pure soul does not need ornamentation.
Both goddesses stand for innocence and chastity. Divine grace represented with extreme beauty, devoid of human passions. Purity in beauty and beauty in purity.
They represent the innocence of the womans ethereal soul soft, but like a thorny flower it pierces the body of the spectator, ruthlessly penetrating to touch his living soul, throbbing with vitality, strength, power and supernatural energy to bring forth purity.
A woman with these inner qualities is admired in her beauty. She is heard, breathed, touched and perceived. She is loved at a distance, the way a work of art is admired.