Roses have always been a perennial favorite in art, poetry, and yes, tattoos. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, in the immortal words of Shakespeare, sums up the Western and European culture’s love affair with this beautiful symbol of love, passion, and purity. Out of all the possibilities of floral designs in tattoos, it is no surprise that the rose has been, and remains, the favorite.
Photo by “Shannon Archuleta” on Flickr
The color of the rose in your tattoo means various things. Red is always associated with love, yellow with joy, white with reverence and purity (sometimes virginity), and pink for admiration and friendship. The rose can be considered either a masculine or feminine symbol; the Romans called it the “Queen of Flowers” while the Greeks deemed it the “King of Flowers”. Perhaps that is why the rose is a favorite tattoo design amongst both men and women. This flower is also closely associated with Catholicism; the first rosaries were actually formed of roses and these later were transformed into more durable beads carved into the shape of roses.
Photo by “just_a_name_thingie” on Flickr
Because roses can be small yet still finely depicted, many women opt for placing a rose tattoo on the ankle, back of the neck, or above the breast. Men often use a rose in conjunction with a more masculine design of tribal art, with a skull, or a banner with their loved one’s name inscribed.
Roses are almost always inked as very realistic portrayals, yet they can also be quite striking when designed with the thick black lines characteristic of tribal art. Alone or as part of a larger design, roses are still quite popular in body art design.