Did you think that the printed emergency instructions at every seat in a jetliner simply sprung ex nihilo from the mind of the graphic designer? No, they are grounded in the rich traditions of Western art. Avi Steinberg, who hates flying, explains using several examples, including Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Mary Magdalene:
Thus the “fallen woman” motif is reimagined in the most urgent terms: this airline Magdalene is a woman who has quite literally fallen. And this is where we find her, floating in limbo, clutching a lily-white life preserver to her breast (instead of a vase, as in the 1877 portrait). Like Rossetti’s romantic Pre-Raphaelite Magdalene, this woman’s lowly state serves only to magnify her elemental beauty. Here she is, Our Lady of the Plane Crash. “I will make you fishers of men,” says the Christ. “We will rescue you in any corner of the globe,” says a Pan Am safety card. The fallen woman will not remain cast away forever—and, if we follow her lead, the artist assures us, neither will we. It is a pretty vision of earthly salvation.
Link -via The Hairpin