Pastiche, a noun pronounced pæs-'teesh is a theatrical, literary, or musical composition that candidly mimics the earlier works of other artists, frequently with satirical intent, wordplay, and general language fun. An artistic work based on pieces taken from the work of others; anything composed of diverse incongruous parts, a hodge podge, medley, collage; a motley assortment or miscellany. Pastiche derived from a similar word, pasticcio an imitative mix of styles and materials.

Derived from Italian pasticcio as in pie, (of mixed ingredients); mess, imbroglio,"pastry; hence a blend of ingredients. The French pâtisserie "pastries" is based on the same Latin word, "pasticium," which, in its turn, comes from pasta "dough," the sticky stuff that was also once used as paste and which has survived unaltered in Italian.

Numerous sources point to the art theorist Roger de Piles as one who first described "pastiche," in a dissertation in print in 1677. Literally, "pasticcio," derived from Common Romance pasta, indicated in early modern Italian a pate´ of various ingredients-a hodgepodge of meat, vegetables, eggs, and a variety of other possible additions In the wake of the Renaissance, the art scene seized "pasticcio" as a metaphor to illustrate a sort of painting of dubious worth that was the result of a an eclectic artist who drew upon varied techniques and styles. Pasticcio was highly imitative painting that produced-"stirred together"-the techniques of major artists, often with the appearance of deceptive intentions to deceive viewers and patrons. In today's ordinary Italian, pasticcio as a rule represents a flaky piecrust or pie, but the metaphoric meaning preserves its bind to the older hodgepodge pa te´ in signifying "a mess," confusione mentale,or bad work.

Busy copyists of the day specialized in devotional art, re-creating Raphaelesque Madonnas for a large clientele of indiscriminate patrons. These artists had a two-fold function; one of aesthetic form and the other social. They often meticulously painted icons for those customers who circumstance excluded from ownership of originals and yet who wished to own religious images of a visibly traditional cast

One pastiche that became famous for having deceived even insiders such as Giulio Romano was created by the High Renaissance artist Andrea del Sart from Florence. He painted a copy of Raphael's portrait of Pope Leo X soon after the completion of the original in 1518. Another encyclopedic entry reports a number of deceptive pastiche operations, including fraudulent versions of Poussin landscapes by a Nicolas Le Loir and pastiches of Italian paintings by a Bon Boulogne that were said to have fooled collectors and cost them dearly. French painter of portraits, historical and religious subjects and landscape Sébastien Bourdon executed pastiches after Castiglione, P. van Laer, Claude and Poussin as well. Returning to Paris, he gained a great reputation and was one of the founders of the Paris Academy of Painting and Sculpture and From 1652 to 1654 he was court painter to Queen Christina of Sweden.

It is generally understood that the Italian notion traveled to France in the seventeenth century, where it became known as "pastich.” Pasticcio as quasi-homage to and assimilation of a great master received a positive reception that was to spill over into developments in France the last third of the eighteenth century with the borrowed motifs in the writings of the theoretician Jean-François Marmontel, who adopted the notion of pastiche for French literature.

Beginning in the sixteenth century, pasticciand later pastiches of the works of famous painters were regularly produced for collectors with or without fraudulent intention. Modern forgeries, by contrast, are perfect copies for the art market that lack the impurity of pastiche fakes. Pastiche as fake takes on a new identity as Ada Louise Huxtable writing on Las Vegas: "The outrageous fake fake has developed its own indigenous style and lifestyle to become a real place"

Twentieth-century, musicological discussion by performers and critics are apt to use the term "pastiche" to stand for the self-conscious emulation on the part of a prominent modern composer of an earlier style. In the early eighties, the term "Appropriation Art" was coined to describe the advent of the citational style in painting and other mediums. At the time, "pastiche" had a negative connotation. The pastiche tradition; in the nineteenth century, imitation was considered close to plagiarism. Hence the term “Appropriation art" stresses the intentions of the act of borrowing and the historical attitude of the borrower.

Today it is most frequently used in referring to creative works, for example, "The movie Chinatown" is a genre pastiche of film noir, historical documentary, and mystery" or "The work of Andy Warhol is a pastiche of everything in popular culture." British dramatist, Sir TomStoppard best-known plays are comedies, which often deal with metaphysical and ethical questions and are characterized by verbal wit and the use of pastiche. His most famous play is Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1966), based on the characters in Hamlet.

The basic structure of pastiche is a degree of imitation and is usually done intentionally as an homage or as an exercise to learn the techniques of others.. What happens beyond this determines the cultural and intellectual success of both the traditional and the postmodern pastiche.

A new antithesis that thinks past this concept stands on the horizon. One where self-proclaimed geeks understand the value of "blank pastiche.”


The American Heritage® Dictionary:


Pastiche: -


A literary pastiche mimics the style or theme of another work, somtimes lifting quotes and characters directly. Often, a single style or theme will be the focus. For example, an English teacher I had in high school gave the class a pastiche on writing a pastiche in the style of Waiting for Godot. Shakespearian plays often lend themselves well to the writing of a pastiche. The addition of humor is optional, but can be quite a lot of fun.

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