40 Faces of Death: A Grim Reaper Gallery

Death Shall Feed on Them
Culture Club/Getty Images

Behold "Like sheep they are laid in the grave" by French painter J. James Tissot (1836- 1902), illustrating the following passage from the Biblical Book of Psalm:

"Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling."

The passage concerns the ultimate futility of wealth, for all the gold in the world still cannot keep the reaper at bay.

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.