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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 Augusta Gregory
  2. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  3. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  6. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  7. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  12. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  13. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  14. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  15. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  16. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  18. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  20. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  21. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  22. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  23. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  24. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty