Roxburgh discusses authorship in reference to identifying Bihzad’s works in the lens that is typically used in the context of Western post-Renaissance art. He points out many reasons why it is ineffective and honestly quite inappropriate to use these sets of standards when in reference to Persianate painting as many of their criteria don’t even apply to the techniques used in manuscript painting and calligraphy. Some of the prominent characteristics of European art such as perspective, realism, and naturalism don’t apply in the same way to Persianate painting, as seen in the anecdote of the majlis which established completely different criteria for “realism.” Similarly, the use of an artist’s characteristic brushstrokes to determine authorship is rendered useless in this case given the nature of pigments used for illuminating manuscripts do not leave any traces of strokes but rather are always solid colors.
Aside from a physical and technical viewpoint, Roxburgh also makes an interesting comment on definitions of authorship in regards to Bihzad’s work. “The author’s place lies along the axis of an ongoing tradition. He inherits a corpus of subjects, motifs, designs, and themes, and works in and through them. For some privileged authors, culture allowed for the recognition and memory of their specific performances as vertical markers on another axis,” (136). I think this is an extremely important point that is often left out of ideas of authorship in European art – the fact that art is additive in that each artist builds on the work of those before them, while expanding upon it in their own way. Whether these artists of reference are well-known and recognized for this connection, or remain unnamed lost from the memory of time, an artist is not created without incorporating influences from the world around them.