"Literally, 'pasticcio', derived from Common Romance pasta denoted in early modern Italian a pâté of various ingredients - a hodgepodge of meat, vegetables, eggs, and a variety of other possible additions (Battaglia, 1984: 791). In the wake of the Renaissance, the art scene grabbed 'pasticcio' as a metaphor to describe a genre of painting of questionable quality that was the product of a 'pittore aclettico che dipinge con tecniche e stili diversi' (an eclectic paiter who drew upon diverse techniques and styles; Battaglia 1984: 790). Pasticcio was highly imitative painting that synthesized - 'stirred together' - the styles of major artists, often with seemingly fraudulent intention, i.e., to deceive viewers and patrons.
The slippery quality associated with the pastiche genre is in part due to the dual structural profile that was there from the outset: imitation of a masterwork and the 'pâté' of components. Vagueness of image also continues to be part of the genre's discourse history, because certain qualities and features of the pastiche mode overlap with other aesthetic categories. We are dealing with a vast semantic field in which such superimpositions of genre and mode come about as a result of cultural perceptions and conceptual traditions." (pp 1, 9)
Hoesterey, Ingeborg (2001) Pastiche. Cultural Memory in Art, Film, Literature. Indiana University Press.