Daniel Cilia

Nearly two centuries ago, Charles Brocktorff—a German painter living in Malta and making a living catering to the tourist trade—captured Ggantija’s huge scale in this watercolor of the south temple’s inner apse. The round holes cut into the stone near the main altar were probably receptacles for libations of milk, water, wine, oil or even blood. Brocktorff’s paintings of the ancient monuments show architectural details—such as shallow, pitted surfaces, red ochre pigmentation and spiral relief carvings—that have since been lost to weather and looting.