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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

Browse the Collection

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  1. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  4. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  5. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  10. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  11. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  13. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  15. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  17. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  19. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  21. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  24. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde