The Old Master specialist Cécile Bernard has been named general manager of Sotheby’s France, the auction house announced on Wednesday 1 September. The country is the auction house’s fourth-largest sales centre measured by annual turnover, and the appointment is intended “to strengthen the development of Paris in liaison with Sotheby's global strategy,” said Mario Tavella, the chair of Sotheby's Europe.
Bernard has a long track record in the international art market in London and Paris, working at Christie’s for 22 years before joining Drouot in April last year to take charge of the development of the iconic Paris auction rooms.
She started her career as a specialist in Old Master paintings at Christie’s Paris, before promotion to international director of Old Master and 19th-century paintings in Paris and London, and latterly director of overall operations in Paris. At both Christie’s and Drouot she built a reputation as a strong advocate of online business development, and of promoting Paris—often seen as a consignment centre for London and New York—as an international marketplace in its own right.
Bernard holds Masters degrees in art history from the Sorbonne and in finance from the Institut Supérieur du Commerce, ISC Paris, as well as a diploma from the Ecole du Louvre school of art history and museology.