Check out Success, Excellence, and Recognition
by Deepak Loomba.
From the article:
"Very often, there is a lag in the occurrence of great achievements and excellence & their recognition...Sometimes this lag could be in decades or even a century. Van Gogh, who in his entire lifetime was a failure, went on to redefine art years later. How would you qualify him — ‘Successful’ or ‘unsuccessful’?
My definition categorizes him unsuccessful, because during the time he lived, he was largely unsuccessful. Same cannot be said about his excellence. The level of his excellence was so far-fetched from the then State-of-the-Art that it took humanity some time to realize what he had then strived for. Same can be said about most post-impressionists."