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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. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  5. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  7. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  10. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  11. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  12. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  15. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  16. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  22. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  24. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats