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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. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  3. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  4. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  5. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  6. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  8. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  10. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  12. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  13. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  14. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  15. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  19. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  23. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window