I don't see how you can make such a conclusion. Your view of Da Vinci's and Picasso's time is rose-tinted as the mediocre and poor art hasn't survived the generations, and is forgotten. I'm positive there was as much shit in those days as there is today - we just don't have the luxury of hindsight, yet.
I think I did not express my point properly, so I apologyse for my unprecise english and try to clarify.
First, I did not say that these times were better. Of course they were not. They had other kinds of problems, challenges etc...
Also, genious, serious artists are of course possible today and it happens.
But what is not possible now, what have changed, is the "format". Andy Wahrol predicted precisely this phenomenon for the next future.
In my examples, Picasso, Leonardo (I could have choosen Ansel Adams etc...) had all life trajectories, dedicated to master "stables" tools and techniques, and overcome them. These were real powerfull figures in their time, recognized and respected or hated so. Now it is the time of "averageness", massification and fast consuming, including in art. Masters are known for a short time, then disappear. Personality is much more diluted, skills uncertain etc...
Look, there has never been so much photography than now. Everybody has a website, everybody has the oportunity to show his talents to the world.
There are virtually millions of sites, everybody is a photographer or try to be so. The difusion and medias employed are so efficient and powerfull, the tools are much better, everything is much more easy, efficient, incredible sofwares, reliables cameras, instant access to information...BUT
It is very strange that we do not have proportionally more Ansel Adams, more Picassos...it is exactely on the contrary. Did you ask yourself why?
That was my point when I said that about the masters. I hope I could clear it well.