Ben-Hur was illustrated by William Martin Johnson.The book was rebound with leather while preserving the original cloth cover. The older blue cloth cover had special luscious designs on them. These designs or illustrations portrayed a surreal experience. It captured the reader’s/audience’s attention by calling for a break from the intensity of the contents of the book and just appealing to the aesthetic illustrations. It also acts as a relief from the conflict in the plot. With just one gaze at the cover you’re left in awe and a bit of curiosity.

On the blue cloth cover, you see plain blue denim-like background, with a beautiful plant in a pot. The plant seems to have been sewed or pressed on the plain blue cover conveying a 3D experience.

If you run your fingers across the page you can feel every leaf, stem and flower of the plant. The colors are not too bright but they complement the denim blue cloth cover. The leaves have a subtle green color that is almost unnoticeable on the blue background. I didn't notice it until I used the hover cam with high intensity light to view the plant.

The flowers have a mixture of blue and red, not too bright but very warm. The blue flowers are not that far off the blue background, two shades lighter, with a little red complement, developing a mental image of a beautiful plant with blue petals and red highlights, and also red petals, on a nice, bright Sunday afternoon.

The pot is another aesthetic illustration. It is made up of lines but what makes these lines fascinating is the fact that they do not connect. One line comes off the pot and makes a box around the flowers. The box is trying to cage the flowers in but a few leaves and petals are seen above this box, nothing can cage something beautiful.

The conservator also added her/his own set of illustration when s/he rebound the book with the leather. On the verso of the backside of the leather you see shades of different colors ranging from red to indigo, not necessarily a rainbow but yet again that warm feeling. One color is beautifully blended into another and can be used for escaping this reality.

The illustration looks like someone picked up a pastel color or a Crayola and started drawing “U”s while carefully blending the different colors from left to right till it filled the page up to down. There is some sort of repetition of colors from left to right, changing the color on every other line. 

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