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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. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  2. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  3. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  4. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  7. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  8. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  9. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  10. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  11. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  14. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  15. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  17. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  18. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  20. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  21. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  24. Sean McSweeney - The Road