(active 1460-1500 in Florence)


Italian painter or group of painters. The name was given by Berenson (1932) to an unknown artist whose work was previously confused with that of Pier Francesco Fiorentino (1444/45-after 1497), a mediocre follower of Benozzo Gozzoli and Bicci di Neri.

The numerous pictures attributed to the anonymous master do not in fact resemble Pier Francesco's oeuvre. They are instead well-crafted, albeit mechanical, adaptations of paintings by Pesellino and Filippo Lippi. A few are copies of whole compositions, such as the Virgin Adoring the Christ Child in the chapel of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, Florence, which replaced Lippi's original (Berlin, Staatliche Museen). The Pseudo-Pier Francesco works derived from Lippi's designs only (all from paintings dating from the 1450s) often combine motifs from more than one composition. Pesellino's Madonnas (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston) were another frequent resource. Works by Pseudo-Pier Francesco are all marked by a lavish, archaic use of gold leaf, and many include elaborate rose-hedge backgrounds, probably derived from Domenico Veneziano.