Many distinct periods of Gothic inspiration exist in our history. The Goth peoples originated somewhere in southern Scandinavia—likely, south Sweden—and expanded in bursts of conquest until they met the Romans on their borders. Long after the Gothic tribes dispersed, France created their iconic Gothic art style and Britain picked up a style of Gothic literature and architecture. In today’s article, let’s talk all about Gothic tattoos and their designs!
Gothic Tattoo Designs
I want to establish exactly what we mean by ‘Gothic’ in modern times. When we think of a Gothic story, we imagine creepy writing like Dracula, Frankenstein, or the works of Edgar Allan Poe. This movement actually mimics Romanticism, which…well, romanticized the world around the Victorians. Including death and disease. Gothic tattoos embrace the dark side of life and display it with beauty and grace.
Gothic Skull Tattoos
What does a skull symbolize? Death, of course! Time waits for no one, and at the end of the line, everyone meets death. Whether rich, poor, healthy, sickly, royal, or common—death does not discriminate. Gothic tattoos for men and women show that their wearer knows what waits for them at the end of life.
Unique skull tattoos use special symbols to get their point across. Skull and rose tattoo designs show contrast between life and death. The rose brims with life and love, while a skull cannot show emotion and remains lifeless. Both the lives of a human and a rose look short on the grand scale of things, but they retain beauty in the memories they leave behind. A skull with a rose in its mouth means that the deceased knew love.
Gothic Font Tattoos
Dating back all the way to the original Goths, Gothic script works wonders in word-based tattoos. Quotes, names, phrases, words, and abbreviations all pop when written with this iconic script. Medieval Gothic fonts defined the way we imagine fairy tales, old scripts, and even the Bible writings! Modern Gothic fonts rarely see use in tattoo work, but they use the same exaggerated lettering and simple decorations. You can learn more about Gothic fonts in our Tattoo Fonts feature!
Gothic Angel Tattoos
The Gothic art movement in France focused on religion while making highly stylized depictions of people. Rather than imitate the realistic statues of Rome, Gothic art focused on expressing emotion and exaggerated features where necessary. We know this art style from the stained glass that decorates churches! Guardian angel tattoos and fallen angel tattoos both take inspiration from Christianity and the Gothic art style.
Whether you want a small Gothic heart tattoo for your wrist or a large tribal Gothic tattoo for your back, your gothic tattoos show a glimpse into the world of history. Rather than hailing from the Goths themselves, Gothic tattoo design borrows from many cultures in the world. Communication between cultures greatly impacts the world of art, both in the present and in the future! When we get a tattoo inspired by these ancient works of art, we move history a little bit closer to us in time.