Veristic male portrait

With age comes experience, and sculptors in the Roman Republic highlighted seniority—warts and all.


Veristic male portrait (similar to Head of a Roman Patrician), early 1st Century B.C.E., marble, life size (Vatican Museums, Rome)

Additional resources:

Roman Portrait Sculpture: The Stylistic Cycle on the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Marble bust of a man at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

D. Jackson, “Verism and the Ancestral Portrait,” Greece & Rome 34.1 (1987):32-47.

D. E. E. Kleiner, Roman Sculpture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994).

G. M. A. Richter, “The Origin of Verism in Roman Portraits,” Journal of Roman Studies 45.1-2 (1955):39-46.

Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:

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Cite this page as: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Veristic male portrait," in Smarthistory, December 9, 2015, accessed April 18, 2024,