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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. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  4. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  5. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  7. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  8. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  10. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  13. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  14. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  16. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  17. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  24. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled