Mønsted distinguished himself as a landscape painter and became internationally acclaimed as one of the leading Danish artists at the turn of the century. The choice of landscape subjects had particular significance to Mønsted and his fellow Scandinavians who saw nature as symbolic of purity and at odds with the corrupt spirit of urban environs. Whereas the French Realists used landscape as a vehicle to convey a social message about labor and peasant life, Mønsted and his compatriots tended to 'focus more on nature's effects, on the changing seasons and on the long twilight of the summer night' (J. House, "An Outside View" in Dreams of a Summer Night, exh. cat., London, 1986, p. 20). According to John House the Scandinavian artists 'presented these effects in such a way that the viewer gained a more immediate access to them; their chosen viewpoints place no obstacles between the scene and their viewers, but rather draw the viewer in to appreciate the subject to the full. Figures now play a far less important role (and) instead we can engage directly with the effect depicted' (ibid., p. 20). This technique is superbly demonstrated in A Shepherdess Resting in the Fields, where the figure of the shepherdess is minimized so that the effects of light and the depiction of vegetation become the main focus. Whether Mønsted painted a snowy winter day or a verdant summer afternoon, his paintings showcase the unique and spectacular topography of Scandinavia in an almost photographic manner. Mønsted's adept handling of light and his meticulous attention to detail further the sense of naturalism to the scene.