Settle down By Michael John Hunt


This piece is evocative of the stylings of Michael John Hunt, known for his fine details and emphasis on historical settings. The painting is a beautifully crafted representation of a Shaker dwelling room, a scene bathed in natural daylight that exudes serenity and peaceful domesticity.

Dominating the center of the composition is a well-used Shaker settle, a characteristic piece of furniture. Its austere design is in classic Shaker style, featuring a straight back, wooden armrests and a worn, honey-colored finish. Its surfaces, though scuffed from years of use, emanate an inviting warmth.

To the right of the settle, three Shaker chairs stand in a disciplined line against the grey wooden panelled wall. Their backs are tall and straight, their seats unadorned. The simplicity of their design emphasizes the Shakers’ belief in utility and honesty. They echo the stern yet comforting aesthetic of the room.

The grey wooden panelled wall, a testament to the Shakers’ craftsmanship, serves as a quiet backdrop. On it, two coats hang from Shaker pegs, looking as though their owners have just stepped out for a moment. One is darker, the other lighter, their materials worn and comfortable. They add a personal touch, a hint of the room’s inhabitants, to the austere environment.

The entrance way on the left side of the painting offers a tantalizing glimpse into another room. The details are faint, shrouded in the soft shadows of the interior, sparking the viewer’s curiosity about the rest of the dwelling.

Light floods the scene, streaming in through a window.  Its mullioned panes frame a clear blue sky, a peaceful, contrast to the room’s muted interior. Another source of daylight spills from a doorway, suggesting a peaceful summer day outside. The daylight washes over the room, highlighting the texture of the wooden furniture and casting soft, gentle shadows that accentuate the tranquil atmosphere.

Overall, this painting captures the spirit of Shaker life and design in a scene of simple, austere beauty. The tranquil daylight, the disciplined arrangement of furniture, and the few personal belongings tell a story of a life of simplicity, faith, and harmony.

Michael John Hunt
16″ x 12″