Since ancient times people have depicted what they wanted to say to the world. The first tattoos appeared even in the primitive communal system. Then signs on the body meant the person’s belonging to a certain tribe, the kind of activity. We can state that in ancient times almost all the peoples had their own particular style of tattooing. However, with the spread of Christianity, tattooed people began to be branded as pagans and sinners, subjected to persecution and contempt. It seemed that tattooing culture will completely disappear. But it seemed like a mockery of excessive fanaticism. A new wave of tattoos rushed over Europe thanks to the missionaries. Severe seafarers came to a truly childish delight, when they saw brightly decorated bodies of the natives and wished to ink something similar on their bodies in memory of travel.
A great contribution to the return of the tattoo culture to Europe was made by the great seafarer James Cook. Actually, he was the first to hear the word “tattoo” from the people of Tahiti. In the 19th century, the art of tattooing was firmly engrained in the territory of the Old World. At first, tattoos were only a privilege of seamen and other blue-collar occupations, but then when the American Samuel O’Reilly invented tattoo machines in 1891, it became widespread among members of other sections of society. Nowadays, a representative of any gender and age can make a tattoo (the only condition is that you should be at least 18 years old). Wing tattoos are especially popular among girls and guys. Meaning of this symbol will be described in our article.
Symbolism of wings originates from the time of Ancient Egypt. Then the pharaohs adorned themselves with images of outstretched wings in order to deliberately emphasize their position over subjects, as if rising above them, for long wings were associated by representatives of any culture with divine essence, God’s messengers, angels.
In myths of Ancient Greece there is a beautiful, but sad legend about Daedalus and Icarus. Once upon a time there lived a great inventor Daedalus. He was the one who taught the Greeks how to sculpt statues and build majestic buildings. But one day, by chance, Daedalus had to leave Athens and ask for asylum on Crete from the cunning King Minos. The king allowed the talented sculptor to settle in his possessions, but there was one condition — Daedalus had to work for him for the rest of his life. In despair, the unfortunate inventor agreed to have such a deal.
Years went by, the son of Daedalus Icarus grew up. Raging heart was longing for native Athens more and more, it tore the heart of the inventor, because, as you know, the bird doesn’t sing in the cage. So the sculptor couldn’t create in captivity. Once, when Daedalus gazed at the sky, stretching over the sea surface, he saw two hovering birds. Inspired by the ease and freedom of their flight, Daedalus decided to build wings for himself and his son in order to fly away from the hated Crete. Since then, inspired by close freedom, the inventor began to walk along the seashore every day, collecting feathers of large birds, which he tied with a flax rope and glued together with wax.
And so, when the invention was ready, his son and he put on wings, climbed into the air and left Crete. The affected people looked at those two little men in the sky with their white wings behind them and whispered reverently that these great gods were rushing to Mount Olympus. But suddenly something awful happened — a young Icarus didn’t listen to his father and wanted to fly higher, towards the Sun, being drunk on freedom of flight. The scorching heat of the sun’s rays melted the wax that glued the ropes, and feathers went to pieces in the gust of wind, and Icarus fell from high above right into the waves of the raging sea. So the wings first raised him, but then they also killed the young man.
When the art of tattooing became available to everyone, many styles of body inking appeared, the variety of which can satisfy even the most demanding tattoo fan. Tattoos with wings are inked in so many ways: here are images of fairy elves and fairies that often appear in the image of young and beautiful girls with wings, as well as tattoos of wings on chest, there are even wings on arms. Nevertheless, wings tattooed on back, on shoulder blades are still considered to be the most common variant. The owner of such a pattern emphasizes the similarity of his nature with the angelic in such a way.
As you know, the true image of an angel in Christianity doesn’t match the generally accepted one. These winged divine messengers are far from sinless, they can descend to such truly human vices as pride, anger, etc. Everyone knows the fallen angel Lucifer that used to be an angel of light. Being attracted by glory and pride, he was exiled into hell and since then he has been the servant of the devil, who often accepts his guise.
We suggest getting acquainted with the basic styles of tattoo, in which you can most harmoniously and originally depict wings.
Depending on the meaning of wing tattoo, masters choose the appropriate style for their clients. If, for example, you want to ink one wing on your shoulder or the classic version all over the back, then graphics is the best solution for you. A distinctive feature of this style from the usual black and white tattoo is a special technique of inking color, which is performed with the help of small dashes. A bright black color that wasn’t diluted with white paint is a characteristic feature of graphics.
The word “trash” means garbage in English. The name of the style clearly conveys its main theme, which can be described as “aesthetics of the disgusting” in general terms. Fans of trash polka adore inking contradictory images on bodies to challenge society with its canons and rules. Skulls, weapons, elements of the post-apocalyptic world are most often inked in this style. If you see a man with wings, painted in the style of trash polka, then such a tattoo means: freedom or death. It is similar to the motto of anarchists, isn’t it?
New school differs from the traditional old school of the 19th century with its mermaids, roses, and anchors in the variety of themes and better quality of inking, after all, after the invention of a tattoo machine, almost any master can do it. Like the old school, new school is characterized by bright (if not acidic) colors, clarity of the lines, black outline. Colorful wings of a fairy or butterfly, made in new school style will be a perfect addition to the elegant image of a young girl.
Minimalism, perhaps, is the most modest style of tattoo. There is no place for flamboyant catchy sketches, a riot of colors. The main feature of minimalism is simplicity, as Chekhov once said: brevity is the sister of talent. Accuracy and clarity of geometric lines, discreet colors (often black and white), small size — all these are distinguishing features of minimalism. Small wings on wrist or wings on neck will be perfect for fans of this style.
Since the symbolism of wings is inextricably linked with the divine (angels, cherubs), fans of such subjects often depict an angel with huge wings on their backs. Admirers of gloomy symbols can portray a fallen angel with scorched wings (Lucifer), who bowed his head mournfully. Some people prefer to depict the remains of broken wings on their backs, as if drawing themselves closer to the image of a fallen angel. Fans of trash polka can ink a skull or a cross with wings in black and red tones. Girls can decorate their body with a picture of a beautiful fairy or an elf with colored wings.
However, most people consider wings to be a symbol of freedom, soaring free spirit. Such tattoos are chosen by strong-willed people who firmly withstand blows of sometimes evil destinies, trying to prove their strength to the whole world. Skeptics can gloat. They say Icarus also wanted freedom and crashed. But the rebellious spirit of fans of such tattoos suggests a bright life full of events and worth burning in the sun. They believe it’s terrible to have a dull life without knowing what the happiness of a free flight is.
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