It's not every week you see a major Rembrandt offered for sale even in New York. At its January auction of old masters, Sotheby's sold two of them.
To this heavy artillery, they added a Botticelli, an El Greco and a Goya from the "etched in stone" names and fielded a strong bench with masterpieces by the Spaniard Zurbaran, the Brit Wright of Derby and the Italian Francesco Guardi.
How did the old masters fare in today's overheated-to-boiling-point art market? On a chilly Thursday morning, it came as a sobering truth that you could have bought all the works by those artists for the price of one Jasper Johns. At auction a Willem de Kooning of the '70s costs more than a great Rembrandt in his final phase.