During the first half of the seventh century B.C., vase painters in Athens abandoned the almost abstract geometric tradition in favor of a vigorous naturalistic style inspired by art imported from the Near East. An early representation of a Greek myth is shown on the front of this monumental vase. The great hero Herakles strides to the left, sword in hand, grabbing the hair of Nessos, a centaur who had tried to abduct Herakles' wife, Deianeira. The two components of the centaur—horse and man—are not well integrated in this early representation, but the creature shows emotion, pleading for mercy with outstretched hands. Behind Herakles, a four-horse chariot and a driver wait patiently for the outcome of the battle, while a small man attracted by the excitement rushes forward. The scene is depicted with a combination of outline and silhouette enlivened by white and incised lines. A lion attacks a deer on the neck of the vase, and horses graze on the shoulder, but most of the surface is filled with floral motifs and curvilinear decorations. This vase served as a grave marker.