Schmidt’s work is similar to that of his contemporary Richard Karlovich Zommer, both in terms of painting style and subject matter. Schmidt, like Zommer, chose to capture locations that reflected the national character and flavour of the area they painted. Neither artist sought to glorify or exaggerate their subject matter, but instead preferred to depict everyday scenes filled with local people going about their daily business.
Schmidt was particularly drawn to the role religion played in daily life, often depicting churches and mosques. In fact, two of his depictions of cathedrals were chosen to hang in the Russian tent of the Venice Biennale in 1914. His inclusion at this event is evidence that he was at that the forefront of contemporary Russian painting.