As legend has it, Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated his Symphony No. 3, "Eroica," to Napoleon Bonaparte as a gesture of recognition between two of history's greatest men but then angrily revoked the dedication upon learning that Napoleon had named himself emperor of France. The first symphony of Beethoven's Heroic period, "Eroica" is characterized by driving rhythms, martial instruments, and themes of triumphing over adversity and remains dedicated to "a great man."
10. Pete Doherty/Hedi Slimane
Some men struggled to fit into Hedi Slimane's radically thin clothes in the early aughts; rock musician Pete Doherty was born to wear them. Slimane was so taken with Doherty's original heroin chic that he published a photo book, London: Birth of a Cult, dedicated exclusively to the British ne'er-do-well.
11. Baptiste Giabiconi/Karl Lagerfeld
What would Karl Lagerfeld's male muse look like, you ask? "Perfect when dressed and stunning undressed," said the Kaiser of his favorite model, Baptiste Giabiconi. Lagerfeld even used Giabiconi in a tribute shoot to Helmut Newton, dressing him in nothing but a pair of shoes.
12. The Greek God Apollo/Leochares
Apollo, the Greek god of light, has inspired everyone from philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to composer Igor Stravinsky to NASA. One of his legendary statues, believed to have been created by the Greek sculptor Leochares, has inspired centuries of jealousy by immortalizing the ideal of what a ripped torso should look like.
13. Woody Guthrie/Bob Dylan
Asked for a short ode to musician Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan penned a famous five-page spoken-word poem called "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie." In his early days, Dylan patterned himself after the folk hero, from the dusty flannels to the country twang, and sang for Woody on Guthrie's sickbed.
14. Pee-wee Herman/Thom Browne
The generation that grew up laughing at Pee-wee Herman has ended up dressing like him as adults, thanks to the sartorial revolution of menswear designer Thom Browne, who made the shrunken gray-flannel suit a staple of menswear fashion.
Michelangelo transformed the biblical hero David into a four-and-a-half-meter-tall symbol of Renaissance art, finding in Goliath's antagonist, at the pre-battle moment, a drama and tension that was often lacking in the perfect repose of classical sculpture. In the words of the artist's biographer Vasari, David "took the voice away from statues both ancient and modern."
16. Matt Bellamy
As frontman for the band Muse, Bellamy literally fits the definition of this list.
17. Dickie Greenleaf/Tom Ripley
In the movie adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, con man Tom Ripley mimics his impossibly glamorous mark, Dickie Greenleaf—to the point that Ripley kills Greenleaf and assumes his identity. (Apparently there's such thing as being too inspiring.)
18. Roland Henin/Thomas Keller
Before Thomas Keller gained the status of food god by earning three-star Michelin ratings for both of his restaurants, the French Laundry and Per Se, he learned the basics of fine cooking by toiling under French-born master chef Roland Henin. Keller turned to his teacher again in 2008, recruiting Henin to coach the U.S. team in the renowned Bocuse d'Or culinary contest.