set on a pedestal, to

set on a pedestal, to

To idealize; to glorify. This term alludes to the custom of worshiping the figures of saints and other notable individuals, which are literally placed on pedestals. It was used more generally from the mid-nineteenth century on. James Joyce had it in Ulysses (1922), “They discovered . . . that their idol had feet of clay, after putting him upon a pedestal.” See also feet of clay.
See also: on, set