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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) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  2. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  3. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  5. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  6. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  7. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  8. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  10. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  11. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  13. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  14. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  15. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  16. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  17. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  18. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  19. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  23. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  24. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill