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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) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  2. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  6. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  7. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  8. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  9. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  10. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  11. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  13. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  14. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  18. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  19. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  20. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  22. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  23. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  24. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats