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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. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  2. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  4. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  6. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  7. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  8. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  9. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  10. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  12. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  13. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  17. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  18. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  19. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  20. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  21. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  22. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  23. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  24. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait