Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer (Mariana Griswold)
Augustus Saint-Gaudens American
Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (1851–1934) was among the most perceptive critics of American art and architecture in the late nineteenth century. She steadfastly championed Saint-Gaudens in her articles on his public monuments and relief sculptures. In this elegant vertical portrait, the sculptor made full use of bronze’s textural possibilities by contrasting the lively surfaces of the sitter’s dress and collar with her smooth skin. The inscription—animvs non opvs (the spirit, not the work)—refers to Van Rensselaer’s Aesthetic ideals that were in sympathy with the cosmopolitan artists and architects she promoted. The bronze is encased in a carved oak frame designed by Stanford White.