The fourth Horseman, Death on the Pale Horse. Engraving by Gustave Doré (1865). Doré was a 19th Century French artist, master printmaker, illustrator, and sculptor. He resided in Paris mostly while in his prime. He found great success with his illustrations for La Grande Bible de Toursin 1866.
The illustrations were immensely successful and have been reproduced countless times worldwide, influencing the visual arts and popular culture in ways difficult to measure. The series comprises 139 plates depicting scenes from the Old Testament, including the deuterocanonical books, and 81 from the New Testament. They're remarkable works of light play using dramatic shadows and incredible precision that display possibly a high point in engraving.
When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a pale horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.
— Revelation 6:7–8 (New American Standard Bible)
The fourth and final Horseman shown here is named Death. Known as Θάνατος (Thanatos), of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text itself explicitly gives a name. Unlike the other three, he is not described carrying a weapon or other object, instead, he is followed by Hades (the resting place of the dead). However, illustrations like this one commonly depict Thanatos carrying a scythe (like the Grim Reaper), sword, or another implement.
The color of Death's horse is written as khlōros (χλωρός) in the original Koine Greek, which can mean either green/greenish-yellow or pale/pallid. The color is often translated as "pale", though "ashen", "pale green", and "yellowish green" are other possible interpretations (the Greek word is the root of "chlorophyll" and "chlorine"). Based on the uses of the word in ancient Greek medical literature, several scholars suggest that the color reflects the sickly pallor of a corpse. In some modern artistic depictions, the horse is distinctly green.
The verse beginning "they were given power over a fourth of the earth" is generally taken as referring to Death and Hades, although some commentators see it as applying to all four horsemen.
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