Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Emperor Farrukhsiyar Bestows a Jewel on a Nobleman

Attributed to Chitarman II (Kalyan Das) Indian

Not on view

About the Artist

About the Artist

Chitarman II (Kalyan Das)
Active at the court of Emperor Muhammad Shah in Delhi, ca. 1700–ca. 1745

Kalyan Das, more popularly known as Chitarman II, was born around 1680 at a time when court atelier structures had largely collapsed, following Emperor Aurangzeb’s disavowing of the visual arts. The first two decades of his career can be viewed as a formative period; Chitarman II’s apogee came after that time, when he became the most important court painter of his age under a new patron, Emperor Muhammad Shah (r. 1719–48). The intimate subjects he produced, for example the emperor engaged in sex, make it clear that the artist’s agenda was dictated by the patron. At the court in Delhi, Chitarman II became a specialist in portraits and figure painting. More formulaic genres such as audience scenes became less prevalent; instead, the patron Muhammad Shah had himself depicted as a hedonistic prince, seen seated on a litter and admiring his garden at sunset.

Chitarman II’s art documents the emergence of a new era, one that clearly departs from the naturalistic Mughal paintings of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with their vogue for perspectival devices. His works appear somewhat cool at first glance; his colors — predominantly muted whites and grays — tend to have little gradation, rendering his pictures flat and geometric. The figures and architecture are arranged somewhat mechanically, as if with the use of a grid. Chitarman II purveyed a style that, to some extent, was atypical for Mughal-painting; his bold and flat application of color does, however, link to an aesthetic that is similar to contemporary paintings by Meju from the Pahari region.

Emperor Farrukhsiyar Bestows a Jewel on a Nobleman, Attributed to Chitarman II (Kalyan Das) (Indian, born ca. 1680, active ca. 1700–45), Opaque watercolor on paper, India (Mughal court at Delhi)

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.