When I was a kid I loved to play EA Sports's NHL 2001 on Playstation. In the game, you could play hockey, make trades, set line combinations, draft talent, and do other fun stuff that I can't remember because it's no longer 2001.
Every player in the game had each of their skills rated from 1 to 99. So a really good player might have had a 90 shot, 88 speed, 95 stickhandling, and 85 body checking or whatever. Just think of it like a report card. But they would also have an overall rating that basically summed up their entire report card with their average.
Had Wayne Gretzky been in the game in his prime, he might have had a 97 or 98 overall rating. The worst players in the league had overall ratings in the low 60s. Anybody with an overall rating above 80 was a player you wanted on your team.
I think that we should think of artists in this way too.
I used to believe that some famous artists were basically many orders of magnitude more talented and brilliant than other famous artists. Comparing a Hollywood director like Steven Spielberg or Ron Howard to the greats like Andrei Tarkovsky, John Cassavetes, or Ingmar Bergman was just blasphemous. It's like comparing Miley Cyrus to Bach! Or JK Rowling to Dostoevsky!
I would have told you that not even a thousand Spielbergs could equal up to one Tarkovsky because Tarkovsky is a true artist and Spielberg makes generic Hollywood crap.
I wasn't thinking like NHL 2001. Had I created a video game featuring famous artists, I might have given Spielberg a rating of 65. Then I would have given Tarkovsky a rating of 3,200,673 and Da Vinci a rating of 28,238,912, and Simple Plan a rating of 7.
I'm skeptical of any evaluative model of art that places a single artist as a thousand times more effective than his or her rivals - especially if the basis of that judgment is aesthetic or artistic value rather than social effects or some other objective measure.
I think the EA Sports designers got it right. Even Wayne Gretzky can't surpass 99 and even the worst pro players are above 60. This is how it seems to work in just about every other field. What's more likely, that human talent is especially variable for those fields where it's notoriously difficult to quantify success... or that human evaluations of talent are especially bullshit for those fields where it's notoriously difficult to quantify success? You don't need to worship history's most successful artists - or anyone else for that matter.