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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. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  3. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  6. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  7. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  9. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  12. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  13. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  14. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  16. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  17. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  19. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  20. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  22. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  23. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse