A paintbrush is indeed far more important than the painting of Michel Angelo or da Vinci from an historical point of view.
On top of that, there are thousands of programming language today, many relying deeply on concepts and paradigms that are much younger than C itself, but C remains one of the most used languages. Not only C is very much used, it's still the only option in many cases and it is by far, the language that is most used to implement other languages, or at least to bootstrap them.
Considering the age of the paintbrush comparing to, say, spray ink, your analogy is in fact, not only valid, but a very good one.
There's no shame, there just aren't the same type of stories about Dennis. Ritchie was a hacker, he created amazing things that were ahead of their time which have enabled a great many developers to build amazing things (including essentially the entirety of the infrastructure of the internet and the web). But so much of Ritchie's work was enabling and mentoring rather than directing and guiding (which was more Jobs' MO). How many tens of thousands of developers were enabled to do amazing things by Unix or C? How many developers had moments of inspiration and enlightenment as reading through K&R enabled them to achieve a higher level of sophistication in their programming skills? But how many of those examples make for good storytelling?