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"Roman Art" is a very broad term, and certainly the Romans were heavily influenced by Greek art as well as Etruscan art (which was also influenced by Greek art). Perhaps the greatest difference between Roman and Greek visual art is seen in portraiture. Roman portraits of prominent public men during the time of the Republic were quite realistic, emphasizing lines and wrinkles, furrowed brows, and other signs of age and experience. These portraits exemplified visually what the Romans called gravitas, loosely translated as "seriousness". Signs of age showed experience, and the grave looks on the faces of the men showed that they cared deeply about their public rersponsibilities. Greek portraits tended to idealize figures, emphasizing smmoth young faces and often god-like features. As the Romans came into increasing contact with the Greeks, many Roman artists copied Grek styles but kept a certain amount of realism, with often jarring results: a portrait bust of Pompey, for example, reveals an aged, realistically portrayed face with the flowing hair of Alexander the Great!
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