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.
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