What comes to mind when you think of the phrase “Classical Beauty”?
Here are few on my list –
Timeless, not overly done, not superficial, natural, the parts fit together seamlessly, polish and symmetry. Sophisticated style that is colorful and fun. Highlight best features to stand out. Simple but accentuate the simplicity with vibrant colors.
Classical Beauty is a phrase commonly used in describing beautiful human beings with certain physical traits. Interestingly enough, this same phrase came to mind after I read that the makers of the iconic London Black cabs announced they would be filing the equivalent of bankruptcy.
These cabs have a rich history that underscores its evolution from the early days as Hackney Cabs, when they served as carriages drawn by French Haquenee horses, to its present day form.
These cabs were required to pass the “Savoy Test” – maneuvering the tight drive up to the door of the Savoy hotel and being able to turn around. This 25 foot turning circle feature became the legal requirement for enabling exit from taxis waiting in queue.
Savoy Hotel’s entrance small roundabout meant that vehicles needed to be able to navigate this small turning circle. The famous Savoy Place, is the only street in England where you drive on the right-hand side.
History has it that when being chauffeured in a horse-drawn carriage the lady or dignitary would traditionally sit behind their chauffeur. By approaching the hotel on the right-hand side of the road, either the chauffeur or the hotel’s doorman was able to open the door immediately, without having to walk around the vehicle, allowing the lady to alight from the carriage and walk straight into the building in style.
This also got me thinking about one of my favorite shots of the Hindustan Ambassador Cab, affectionately referred to as the Amby and also known as the “King of the Indian Roads”. Although both brands of cabs are somewhat similar in their soft rounded edges and English roots, that is where their similarities end.
Unlike the Black cab based on the Austin FX3 manufactured in Coventry, in central England, the Ambassador is based on the Morris Oxford III, which was originally manufactured by Morris Motors Limited at Cowley, Oxford.
Here is another phrase “Beauty personified” – the smooth fluidity of its form appears to be almost seamless. The color contrast gives it just enough of a punch such that it is pleasing and not overwhelming to the eye. Nice balance of the elements. Simple, sophisticated, stylish.
This is what I see or what comes to mind when I look at that image. How about you?
per·son·i·fi·ca·tion [per-son-uh-fi-key-shuhn] noun
1. the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions, especially as a rhetorical figure.
2. the representation of a thing or abstraction in the form of a person, as in art.
3. the person or thing embodying a quality or the like; an embodiment or incarnation: He is the personification of tact.
“personification.” Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. 29 Oct. 2012. Dictionary.com .