This image is subject to copyright and cannot be downloaded or reproduced without written permission.
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

Browse by: Image / List

  1. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  2. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  3. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  4. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  6. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  8. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  10. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  11. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  13. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  14. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  16. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  18. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  19. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  24. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene