In his piece, “Kamal al-Din Bhizad and Authorship in Persianate painting,” Roxbugh investigates the extent to which the Persianate artists exist within their paintings through forms of authorship. He essentially argues that the author’s place in Persianate art “lies along the axis of an ongoing tradition” (136). This differs from Vasari’s concept of European authorship that equates elements of style with the artist and reproduces features characteristic of the master artist in the broader workshop to form a metropolitan style (121). Therefore, Roxbugh suggests that Persianate artists play a more collective role in identifying the art of the time. For example, the use of repeated subjects identified with the same artist suggests the continual, creative dialogue with artistic period. Essentially, art identification in 16th-century Persia was understood more as a creative process that involved responding to previous models and paintings. The artists, themselves, became somewhat detached from the explicit imagery, however worked to illustrate that they could be “capable of imitating and of reproducing the style of other artists in a highly tuned form of virtuosity” (131). This is further suggested through the Persianate techniques that masked the artistic agency. Essentially, brushwork and other techniques of application did not visibly suggest the artist’s immediate presence. This again reiterates the idea that authorship was more about highlighting and acknowledging the artistic traditions that were borrowed, rather than distinguishing the unique agent in the process.
As a result, identifying an artist’s to work was predominately understood in terms of recognizing and building on previous designs and subjects. Roxbugh, specifically, looks at the series of lions and camels with keepers designed by Bihzad. Roxbugh talks about how this repeating imagery is more indicative of the Bihzad legacy than the individual artists who painted them throughout history. They suggest “the tradition’s movement and stasis reauthorship” (136). Therefore, art of this period was viewed as a collectively evolving process that was less concerned with being uniquely distinctive.