Under the tyrant Pisistratus and his sons
Athens attained to an importance in the world of art which
it had not enjoyed before. A fine Attic work, which we may
probably attribute to the time of Pisistratus, is the
grave-monument of Aristion. The material is Pentelic marble.
The form of the monument, a tall, narrow, slightly tapering
slab or stele, is the usual one in Attica in this period.
The man represented in low relief is, of course, Aristion
himself. He had probably fallen in battle, and so is put
before us armed. Over a short chiton he wears a leather
cuirass with a double row of flaps below, on his head is a
small helmet, which leaves his face entirely exposed, on his
legs are greaves; and in his left hand he holds a spear
There is some constraint in the position of the left arm and
hand, due to the limitations of space In general, the
anatomy, so far as exhibited is creditable, though fault
might be found with the shape of the thighs The hair, much
shorter than is usual in the archaic period, is arranged in
careful curls The beard, trimmed to a point in front, is
rendered by parallel grooves The chiton, where it shows from
under the cuirass, is arranged in symmetrical plaits There
are considerable traces of color on the relief, as well as
on the background Some of these may be seen in our
illustration on the cuirass.