Rembrandt Peale chose to paint a subject intended to be a moral statement for contemporary times. The work is based on a poem by an Anglican bishop describing how mortal man is called by death. To the far left of the central figure of Death are War and his agents, who trample over the bodies of his victims, a widow and an orphan. To Death’s right is a mass of humanity representing sins from intemperance to suicide, all of which are associated with those who have died from leading decadent lives. Below the feet of Death is the body of a man cut down in the prime of life, which demonstrates the power Death holds over everyone. Approaching the central figure is Old Age, who is supported by Faith and, after leading a long, productive, and pious life, welcomes Death with outstretched arms.