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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. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  2. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  4. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  6. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  7. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  9. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  12. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  13. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  14. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  15. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  19. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  22. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  23. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  24. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait