… Christian art adopted the iconography of the rich pantheon of Greek daemons, and we can see echoes of Thanatos in paintings with religious subject matter. Evelyn de Morgan’s 1890 oil on canvas, The Angel of Death, merges Biblical subject matter with an Arcadian landscape and neoclassical figures. The scythe and long cloak signal the angel’s status as an agent of death, but the dappled light on the folds of his robe and the feathers of his wings, the gentle touch of his hand, and his serene facial expression all identify him as a benefactor of divine grace rather than a merciless reaper. Christianity’s promise to the believer of a blessed afterlife strips death of its macabre quality, and this is reflected in de Morgan’s rendering.
Evelyn de Morgan, The Angel of Death, c. 1890. (Wikimedia Commons)
More on the history of the depiction of death here.