Rock of Ages Tattoo

The name Rock of Ages comes from a hymn written by Augustus Toplady in the mid to late 1700’s while he found refuge from a violent storm on a rock at sea. The first two lines of the hymn are “Rock of ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in thee.” Rock of ages then became a painting about 100 years later. In the 1860’s Johannes Oertel painted a picture that was first called “Saved, or an Emblematic Representation of Christian Faith” which was later widely reproduced and called “Rock of Ages”.

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Painting by Johannes Oertel

 

The image was perfect for tattooing, with its strong, dramatic nautical theme, beautiful woman, and religious symbolism. As a tattoo this piece often also features a sinking ship, multiple women on the rock, skulls, multiple crosses, etc. The image has been recreated as a tattoo for a long time now, and can be traced as a tattoo as far back as the late 19th Century when it was tattooed by Samuel O’Reilly.

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Back piece by Chris Marchetto at Redemption Tattoo in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

 

It is usually done in old school traditional style, but can also be done in black and grey or realism. The shape and diversity of the piece means it can be done well on many parts of the body. It is most popular on arms or as a full back piece.

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Black and grey back piece by Sterling Barck at White Lotus Tattoo in Laguna Hills.

 

The image can have many meanings, but most obvious is that your faith, whatever it is, will keep you safe during troubled times.

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Leg piece by Jake Miller at Cathedral Tattoo in Salt Lake City.
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Huge piece by Dave Halsey at Crying Heart Tattoo in Cincinnati.

What’s your favourite piece?

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Lighthouse Tattoos

Lighthouses are buildings or towers that provide a guiding light for ships at sea. The first lighthouse, or  first tower to be fully exposed to the sea, was built by Henry Winstanely at the Eddystone Rocks from 1696 to 1698.

Lighthouse tattoos can have a practical sort of meaning  for sailors , fishermen, or people in the navy. They can also have different meanings, such as a guiding light home, or a reminder to follow the light (metaphorical light, spiritual light, or real light). Lighthouse tattoos can also be for protection, hope, inspiration, warning, and safety. Lighthouses can be done in many different styles including black and grey, new school, traditional, trash polka, realistic, neo traditional, and minimalistic.

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Black and Grey, bold line work piece Done by Phil TwoRavens.
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New School piece by Pat Whiting
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Super realistic Trash Polka style partial sleeve done at Buena-Vista tattoo. Mix of black and grey and bright bold blue contrasts well.
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Stormy Black and Grey killer rib piece done by Stefano Alcantara.
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Stunning Realistic Black and Grey Sailor featuring a storm and lighthouse done by Mumia in Portugal. Look at those old eyes and the detail in the beard and lighthouse.
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Realistic stormy half sleeve by Bolo Art.
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Extremely detailed, tiny lighthouse and seascape done by Lesha Lauz.
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Traditional Lighthouse in a bottle done by Matthew Houston.

What kind of lighthouse tattoo is your favorite?

 

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