Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer (Mariana Griswold)

Artist: Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire)

Date: 1888, cast 1890

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: 20 3/8 x 7 3/4 in. (51.8 x 19.7 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer, 1917

Accession Number: 17.104


Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (1851–1934), an influential author, critic, and reformer, championed Saint-Gaudens in articles on his public monuments and relief sculptures. In this elongated portrait, the sculptor made full use of the textural possibilities of his medium by modeling the sitter’s dress and collar with lively surfaces that contrast with her smooth skin. The inscription animvs non opvs ("the spirit, not the work") refers to Van Rensselaer’s high-minded aesthetic ideals. The bronze is encased in a carved oak frame designed by Stanford White; the floral medallions on the frame cleverly echo those at the bottom of the relief.