40 Faces of Death: A Grim Reaper Gallery

Death at the Races
© Francis G. Mayer/Corbis

Behold "The Race Track" by Albert Pickham Ryder (1847 - 1917), which displays life as a race track and its master rider as Death. Note the serpent as well, a potent symbol of temptation. In the great race of life, there's one rider you can always bet on.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.