Charles Frederick de Brocktorff – Memorial to a Fallen Sailor – Rock Gate Cemetary (Malta)

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Signed: C. F. de Brocktorff. in black ink (lower left). Memorial Inscription reads: Sacred – to the memory of:- George eldest son of – Capt Langford. R.N. – Midshipman – of H.M.S. Cambrian – Who departed this life – The 15th of Febuary 1825 – Aged 21 Years. Pencil, black ink and watercolour. Mounted.


The ramparts shown in the drawing can be identified as the right flank of Firenzuola Bastion, one of the main bastions of the Santa Margherita enceinte, Bormla (Malta), begun in 1638 and completed in the 1720s. The cemetery shown in the drawing was actually located in the ditch of this fortified enceinte. It was known as the Rock Gate Cemetery.

We are grateful to Maroma Camilleri, Head Readers Services, at the National Library of Malta for providing us with this information. The watercolour has since been purchased by the Libraries of Malta.

Additional information


10 in x 13 1/2 in (25.4 cm x 34.3 cm.)

Frame or Mount

Mount: 16 3/8 in x 19 3/8 in (41.4 cm x 49.1 cm.)


Brocktorff, Charles Frederick de (Danish, 1775-1850)

Brocktorff had fought in the Napoleonic wars as an infantry officer with the forces of the Electorate of Hanover before moving to England after 1809. When he settled in Malta in circa 1810, he opened an art studio in Valletta where his business prospered and his four artist sons eventually joined to continue to enrich the family enterprise. Brocktorff, who painted mainly for visitors and servicemen, captured whatever was interesting to foreign eyes, such as St Johns Co-Cathedral, the Governors Palace, the Auberges, the Public Library and magnificent views of the Grand Harbour. He also portrayed various classes of Maltese society for the benefit of English buyers who were curious to know how the Maltese lived.