RELEASE: Christie's Appoints Stijn Alsteens as International Head of the Old Master Drawings


London – Christie’s announces Stijn Alsteens will join the firm on 1 November as International Head of the Old Master Drawings department, based in Paris. Mr. Alsteens brings his deep expertise and international knowledge of the drawings market. For the last ten years, he was Curator of Drawings and Prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and was previously Curator of the Frits Lugt Collection in Paris. He has published widely, mainly on Northern European drawings, and curated several major exhibitions, most recently Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture at the Frick Collection in New York. Mr. Alsteens’ extensive experience blends outstanding art scholarship with active experience in the market, having helped the Metropolitan Museum acquire over 700 drawings.

“I am delighted to be joining Christie’s and to be taking on such a prominent role in the world of old master drawings,” comments Mr. Alsteens. “The continued strength of the drawings market was clear in the recent sales of the collections of I.Q. van Regteren Altena and Brian Sewell, and I look forward to promoting and widening the field further across the world.”

Mr. Alsteens takes over from Benjamin Peronnet who has decided to leave Christie’s at the end of the year after 11 years with the company.


Christie’s holds four sales of Old Master Drawings every year: New York (January), Paris (March), and London (July and December). With sales that include drawings by artists who worked in Europe between the 14th and 19th centuries, we have offered works by Michelangelo, Boucher, Ingres, Goya, Garner, and Watteau, among many others. Our sales coincide with the annual Old Master week in London in July, while our Paris sales are held during the week of the Salon du Dessin, ensuring the broadest possible international audience. 

We have consistently broken our own records for auctions, single-owner sales, and individual artists’ records.  In December 2009 we broke a record for the single-most expensive drawing sold at auction at the time with the £29 million sale of Raphael’s Head of a Muse.  In 2013 Christie’s New York had the highest grossing various owners sale of Old Master Drawings in its history, totaling over $16 million.  In 2014 and 2015, Christie’s held four historic single-owner sales in London, Paris and Amsterdam of works from the collection of I.Q. van Regteren Altena, one of the most important collectors of Old Master Drawings in the 20th Century.  The department has also developed a successful private sale business. 

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