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Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel

Fortune and her Wheel

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

© Estate of Jack B Yeats. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2013

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    Fortune and her Wheel
  • Date
    1902
  • Dimensions
    43.5 × 28.5cm
  • Medium
    Pencil and poster paint on card
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by James A. Healy in 1965
Description

A woman sits with a fortune wheel on a stone wall surrounded by a crowd of men. To her right a bearded man in theatrical costume holds out bags of money, displaying the prize on offer. A customer puts a coin in the woman’s hand, while another figure walks away clenching his fists to his face, having lost his money. A third man lies curled up asleep under the wall oblivious to the event. To the left a wheel-like semi-circle of men stand transfixed by the couple and their wheel.

The painting with its silver sky is a parody of the historical subject of Fortune and Her Wheel which uses an allegorical female figure and her spinning wheel to represent the capricious nature of fate. Yeats transfers the subject to an Irish fairground and enlivens it through the diverse characters he depicts. The work displays Yeats’s sense of humour and his insight into human nature as well as his willingness to subvert high art subject matter and present it in terms which are accessible and amusing.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  2. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  3. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  4. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  6. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  7. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  10. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  11. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  13. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  17. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  18. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  19. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  20. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  21. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  22. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  23. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  24. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats