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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. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  3. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  6. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  8. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  9. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  10. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  11. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  12. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  14. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  15. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  19. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  20. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  23. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  24. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy