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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

Browse the Collection

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  1. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  4. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  5. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  7. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  9. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  10. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  11. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  13. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  18. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  19. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  21. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  24. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph