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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. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  2. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  5. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  6. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  7. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  8. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  10. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  12. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  13. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  15. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  16. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  18. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  19. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  21. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  24. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl