According to Zola these are just pleasant dolls and nothing more, nothing more nor less of those painted by Bouguereau, Cabanel, Jérôme, Boulanger , Bonnat, and many others all classified as pompier artists. But Zola was a writer on the rise and did the best to generate his own growth margins; after all his Nanà is not an exact representation of a model of Gervex? Obviously these are political camps. Proust was the second signatory of the Zola's famous appeal; could the two men (diametrically opposed) to get along in terms of artistic taste? Of course not, but the agreement remained. So women as Toulmoche's dolls are fake (altought they look so parisiennes!) and those of Renoir are beings in flesh and blood. Maybe it is so, but the Jewish millionaires type Ephrussi's family showed not liking at all the many Renoir's portraits preferring another pompier painter as Bonnat; they were the same bankers who financed the Socialist party and who supported a new different social order. I do not mean that the so-called pompier artists have been better than others, but at least say that the new Impressionist painting was just like any other alternative, an alternative which might point to the cultural renewal required by a new political resettlement.
Art critics have always given their own interpretation motivated by personal economic interests.