The City Art Museum of St. Louis and San Francisco's M. H. de Young Memorial Museum have two things in common: both are tax-supported to the tune of $300,000 a year, and the public's favorite painting at both museums is a religious figure. One painting is as still as death; the other crackles with fiery life. Some 500,000 St. Louisans visit their museum annually, and their particular pride & joy is Francisco de Zurbaran's Monk with a Skull, which cost only $3,000 in 1941. The pink-stuccoed De Young Museum, in beautiful Golden Gate Park, draws a million people a year; their...

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