In the painting of The Bathers, the painter Courbet portrayed the characters very clearly, resulting in the contrast of the elegant overall unity with the self-contained large background space. The artist showed the ideal and the spirit of the realistic paintings here. Two bathers seemed like dancing together, echoed with each other. The true value of this painting was not the multiple meanings, but lied in its showed simplicity, the unembellished writing skills and the creative thought in reality as the starting point. At that time, the French Salon advocated Ingres's elegant naked body shaping and the mannered lady portraits. For the strong physical female workers painted by Courbet, people did not feel the aesthetic beauty. Even some famous critics or coeval friends commented on this painting ironically. The writer Merimee compared this painting with the cannibalized savage in New Zealand. What is more, some people gathered on the Courbet exhibition, shouting the slogan of "Beating Courbet".
Although Courbet was born in the vineyards of a wealthy family, he showed the sympathy for the people that were struggling at the bottom of the society. The noble characters and the grand historical themes were absolutely not found in the paintings of Courbet. He was mainly based on the simple working people. The contemporary critics thought his paintings were ugly and vulgar, but Courbet just wanted to through the painting of The Bathers to show the simple and strong life scene of the civilians and conveyed the noble concepts from it.