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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

Browse the Collection

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  1. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  3. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  4. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  5. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  7. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  8. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  9. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  11. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  12. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  14. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  15. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  16. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  17. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  18. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  22. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  23. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  24. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph