The People of Gibraltar
1900 - Hans Bohrdt - The Brazilian Rock of Gibraltar

Hans Bohrdt was a self-taught German painter. His visit to the port of Hamburg at the age of 15 was the beginning of a love affair with the sea. Bohrdt ended up as a marine painter of some renown - he even gave private lessons to the Kaiser and accompanied him on some of his trips aboard the SMY Hohenzollern II. 

Professor Hans Bohrdt in his studio and workshop in Berlin

His prolific collection of paintings includes several in which the Rock is supposed to appear as part of the background. Unfortunately and although he actually must have seen the Gibraltar a few times during his life - perhaps he even landed on it at one time or the other - he was rather careless in his depictions of the Rock itself - even to the extent of confusing it with other places. 

Bohrdt’s title is "German Steamship off Gibraltar" (1894)

Unfortunately it ought to have read  . . . .“German Steamship off Rio de Janeiro”

The German Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Gibraltar in 1904 and was warmly welcomed by the then governor Sir George Stuart White. He returned again in 1907 and 1909 on both occasions to markedly frosty receptions. When he returned yet again in 1911 . . .  my guess is that he never even bothered to step ashore.

The SMY Hohenzollern II anchored outside Gibraltar harbour - rather than inside where she ought perhaps to have been   (1911)

The view of the Rock shown on the picture below was taken from the deck of the Hohenzollern. Taken from the south Gibraltar seems to have been painted - inaccurately - from composite sketches taken from slightly different angles. 

Blick auf Gibraltar von Bord der 'Hohenzollern'    (1914) 

During the 1920s, a revival in the post-WWI fortunes of Germany’s merchant marine, allowed Bohrdt to apply for a series of commissions for posters and other advertising work - such as, for example the ones from shipping companies such as the Hamburg-America-Line whose ships were frequent callers to Gibraltar.

I doubt whether the Hamburg-Line SS Milwaukee - shown below - ever visited Gibraltar but - as suggested by the painting - she must have passed through the Straits on a Mediterranean Cruises at least once. Somewhat surprisingly and probably incorrectly she is flying the Union Jack on her bow staff. Curiously Eva Braun of Hitler fame once went on a cruise on the Milwaukee.   

SS Milwaukee off Gibraltar   (Possibly 1929 on her maiden voyage)

Finally one of his turn of the century painting clearly demonstrates his earlier more classical style - The Rock is unrecognisable but the painting does bring to mind another well known one by Clarkson Stanfield showing the Victory being brought into Gibraltar after the battle of Trafalgar. The inclusion of a steam ship may have been influenced by another classic - Turner’s well known painting. “The Fighting Temeraire” 

Englische Dreimastbark vor der stürmischen Küste von Gibraltar   (1900)