Stupid question that I am going to ask. I’ve always been struck by the brute realism of Roman sculpture. I mean, he’s not an ideal type like a Greek god, goddess, or hero. Is there any way Vespasian actually looked like this?
On veristic vs. classicist style in Roman imperial sculpture, see this page from the Met.
This site suggests yes:
A photorealistic reconstruction of what the Roman emperor Vespasian (r. 69-79 CE) may have looked like. Pictured alongside the reconstruction are the artworks and statuary used as references. From left to right and top to bottom, these are the Louvre bust; Glyptotek bust; Capitoline bust; and the bust from the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.