Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (1851–1934) was a versatile critic and author who steadfastly promoted the development of the arts of the United States during the Gilded Age. She reviewed several public sculptures by Saint-Gaudens, including the Farragut Monument (1877–80; Madison Square Park, New York) and the Standing Lincoln (1884–87; Lincoln Park, Chicago), and was one of the sculptor's earliest and most committed supporters. In this relief plaque the artist has depicted the sitter within a rectangular frame with her head and shoulders facing left in bust-length profile. She wears a high Victorian collar and her hair is braided in a twist. Saint-Gaudens made full use of the textural possibilities of the bronze medium by modeling her dress with a lively surface and contrasting it with her smoothly polished skin. Above Van Rensselaer's head is incribed ANIMUS NON OPUS (The spirit, not the work), a maxim in accord with the sitter's ideals. The bronze is accompanied by a carved oak frame designed by the architect Stanford White.