Woman and Child, art by Hughes Merle (before conservation) – This salon painting is by the 19th century academic painter Hughes Merle. Merle was a student of the leader of the French Academy, William Bouguereau. He was such a talented student that Bouguereau entrusted Merle with instructing his wife. In the example seen here before treatment, one can see the discolored varnish that gives the painting an overly hot look. In addition to the muddy tonality, the crackle and raised cupping detract significantly from the bucolic image and the artist’s highly accomplished technique.