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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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  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
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  8. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  9. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  10. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  13. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  14. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  16. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  17. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  20. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  21. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  22. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  23. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  24. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay