Jurgen Wolff alerted me to an interesting article in the New Yorker, by Malcolm Gladwell, (the author of The Tipping Point).
It's about late bloomers, people who have creative talent, but for various reasons such as lack of experience, lack of facility with the artistic material they use, lack of means or whatever, take a long time to flower. Cezanne is one example, but Gladwell focuses a lot more on, a writer who took more than a decade of full-time writing to really get off the ground. And even then it was only because he had a wife who gave him the opportunity to work at his craft while she brought home the bacon.
There are also some interesting stats the defy the idea that genius is also found in the young. Some people, like Picasso, just get up and go. Many famous authors, artists, creative people, took a lot longer to reveal the talent they had; they were people who had to kind of search for what they needed to say/paint/whatever. Young geniuses tend to just go for it, and the material opens up before them. Picasso and Mozart are prime examples.
All of this is interesting in the light of the post I wrote on Elliot Carter the other day: he's increasingly blooming, producing works in his 7th, 8th, 9th decades with a facility born of long hard work.