In the Early and High Classical periods, it is clear that the Greek sculptors have moved away from the rigid frontal pose of the human body, for example, the Archaic examples of kouroi and korai statues. One of the best and earliest examples of a freestanding statue to exhibit more lifelike and natural qualities is the Kritios Boy from the Acropolis in Athens. The Kritios Boy is a example of portraiture sculpture. This shows us that the Greek sculptors believed that the head or mind and the body were inseparable parts. Therefore, the portraits were always done full in length, from head to toe. To the Greeks, a portrait did not solely consist of a head. This approach to portrait sculpture is quite different from the Roman approach.

In contrast to the Greek belief, Romans thought that the head alone was enough to make up a portrait. Roman portrait heads were commonly sculpted, and then placed on previously sculpted bodies. The bodies which the heads were placed upon were typically ones that would not realistically belong. A ideal example of this piece-meal technique used by the Romans is the Portrait of a Roman General, from the Sanctuary of Hercules in Tivoli. The sculptor has chosen to sculpt the head, in a lifelike and realistic fashion. The realism is portrayed through the aging lines of the face, in the areas of the forehead, between the eyebrows, around the mouth, as well as the eyes. The youthful tightness in the skin on his face and neck have been replaced by slightly droopy and aging skin. This head of what seems to be a middle-aged man is then stuck on top of a youthful, muscular, and powerful body. The body is obviously modeled after an idealized youthful, heroic, Greek male.

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