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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. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  2. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  3. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  6. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  7. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  8. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  10. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  12. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  15. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  17. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  18. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  21. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  22. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  23. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  24. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke