Throughout his life, Leo Gestel continues searching for a style. In his early work he draws inspiration from luminism, later he experiments with fauvism, cubism and expressionism. Nude against the light dates from his luminist period, in which he is fascinated by the effect of light. He makes many studies, of both electric light and sunlight, and uses the interplay of light and colours to evoke an intimate atmosphere in his paintings.
This reclining nude is painted in a pointillist style. However, there is a clear difference with the pointillist works by, for instance, Georges Seurat. The French artist deliberately sought colour combinations that ‘blend’ optically from a distance.
Gestel wants the dots, with all their colours, to remain visible as independent forms in the work. He finds the emotions that the different colours evoke particularly important. He is not interested in the accurate imitation and depiction of reality, but in the inner reaction to the scene.