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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. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  3. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  4. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  11. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  13. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  15. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  16. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  17. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  18. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  19. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  20. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  23. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door