When he was alive, people thought Michelangelo was the best artist in the world. Since his death in 1564, that esteem hasn't faded much. After all, if someone wanted to see his credentials, he could just point to the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and say, "Yeah, I did that"¦but I really think of myself as a sculptor. Those world-shattering paintings are just sort of a side project I took up. Oh, and I'm also an architect of some renown. No big deal." His David may be the most iconic sculpture of the entire Renaissance, and his acclaimed Pieta left his chisel when he was only 24 years old. Precocious and prolific, Michelangelo's tough to beat in the genius department.
(14) Adolphus Busch
Talk about the baby of the family making good: Adolphus Busch was the youngest of 21 children born to German parents. After coming to America, Busch got into the brewing business. In those days, beer was mostly a regional product that was shipped short distances in barrels. If it traveled too far, temperature fluctuations and other factors would ruin the suds. Busch, though, had a brash idea: creating a national beer. Once he figured out a way to pasteurize his product and ship it in ice-cooled train cars, Busch had a hit on his hands. Later, he formulated a lighter colored beer to compete with the prevailing dark brews. Busch called the new beer "Budweiser." You may have seen an ad or two for it on TV.
Michelangelo brought an unspeakable amount of beauty into the world, but Busch's concoctions made it possible for things and people to seem more beautiful than they really are. The Sistine Chapel's ceiling is one of art's crowning achievements, but it's not very refreshing on a hot day. What are you going to vote with here, your mind or your mouth?
[See the whole bracket here.]