WASHINGTON'S National Gallery, which will be 15 years old next March, is already deep in plans for its birthday celebration. Main item on the agenda: unveiling 150 masterpieces from the Samuel H. Kress collection. As an indication of the superb quality of the new Kress donations, the gallery this week made public the names of six (see color pages). Each was a masterpiece in the proper sense of the word: clear and present evidence of the artist's genius crossed with the spirit of his age.

Perhaps the most exciting of the lot was Grünewald's Crucifixion, one of just 15 paintings by...

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