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I've no problem with using adjectives like "great" for those few who do work that just make me think "wow, where did that come from?". I don't think this involves belittling or failing to appreciate the many who paved the way.

But I do bridle a little against the casual use of the word "great". And therein lies the problem. We all calibrate differently and we have been again and again through discussions on this forum (they used to be common) that arrive at the conclusion that valuing a work of art is a wholly subjective activity. My own solution is to be happy with using the word great for those who seem to be extremely great (yes, Leonardo, yes, Bach). But, of course, I use the word a little more freely than that! In the end this discussion leads into ranking our favourites - and those discussions can often seem greatly tedious to me.
 
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