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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)- Sailor home from the sea
  2. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  5. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  6. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  7. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  8. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  9. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  11. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  13. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  15. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  17. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  18. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  19. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  21. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  22. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  24. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)