Best Of The Best 2006: Unknown Beauty

The paintings in Jack Kilgore & Co.’s Manhattan gallery rarely are by famous artists, but they are nonetheless compelling. One of Kilgore’s star attractions is a large oil portrait of a French aristocrat, Mélanie de Forbin-Gardanne, painted in 1789 in Italy by French artist Jean-Louis le Barbier le Jeune. Though obscure, the artist obviously possessed immense talent. “The mink and ermine trim on the dress is extraordinary,” says Jack Kilgore, president of the gallery. “The artist is clearly showing off.” The sitter, who wears a dreamy expression, is depicted with Louis XVI furnishings that broadcast her status to her peers. “To us, it looks antique, but to her, she was in the fast lane of fashion,” he says. Le Barbier le Jeune completed the portrait just as the French Revolution began, but the artist and sitter both escaped the guillotine; the former died in 1797 and the latter in 1841.

Kilgore excels at selecting captivating old master and 18th-century paintings. “I think the personality of the dealer should come out in the works they deal in,” he says. “The pictures I deal in are the pictures I live with. They’re an extension of me."

Jack Kilgore & Co.
212.650.1149

Photo by Drew Phillips
FREE PREVIEW: The Aston Martin Rapide S is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
FREE PREVIEW: The BMW i8​ is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
Photo by Ferrari spa/Carrer
FREE PREVIEW: The Ferrari California T is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best selections…
FREE PREVIEW: The Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best...
The packages give guests access to a Fiat 500 1957 Edition or a Ferrari California T during their...
Photo by Oli Tennent
The aerodynamic sports car looks to impress both on the track and during everyday driving…
The one-off 550 Italia prototype mates a Fiat 500 body with a Ferrari 458 Italia engine…
Limited to 50 examples, the supercar features design details found on McLaren’s 1995 Le Mans–...
The global program will feature top models from Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche, and Lamborghini…
Cadillac hopes to take on its Germans competitors with its first modern full-size flagship…