W.H. Schmidt mainly formed himself. He was also a student of the Rotterdam Teekenacademie 'Hierdoor tot Hooger', where his entries were awarded several times. Initially, Schmidt worked in his father's business, but in 1835 he devoted himself entirely to painting. As early as 1837 he was appointed a member of the Royal Academy in Amsterdam. Schmidt was a genre and history painter and later devoted himself increasingly to portraiture. He also proved to be a creditable watercolourist and lithographer. Sometimes he upholstered the cityscapes and church interiors of Bernardus van de Laar. Schmidt taught, among others, Christoffel Bisschop and Johannes Tavenraat.