I came across an edit of a plaster head cast of Richard Armitage last evening at preoccupiedwitharmitage. It struck me as very Roman looking. When jholland directed me to the original image (which I honestly don’t remember seeing before)
my reaction was an immediate, “Holy Roman verism!!” Verism is a style of potrait sculpture that was common in Rome in the Republican period (509-30BC) It was a sort of warts and all approach that resulted in a product that was a much more true to life portrait than the idealized examples from the Greek sculptural tradition.
Even more than veristic portraits of the living though, this cast is similar to representations of Roman ancestor busts.
It’s the portrait masks though that take the uncanny factor to a new level. Cast in wax soon after an individual’s death, they were venerated in the home and carried in celebratory processions. None survive today, but an experiment at Cornell University recreated what they probably looked like.
Take another look:
ὅ παῖς καλός