Rose tattoo

100+ Rose Tattoos: Meanings, Symbolism & Artists

The passion, the pleasure, the pain.

Rose Tattoos

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Juliet isn’t the only leading lady to make references to roses, and she won’t be the last.

If you ask most people to name a flower, the first one they think of is the rose.

A bouquet of a dozen red roses is supposed to be the ultimate gesture of love.

There are countless tattoo designs that revolve around roses.

Not strictly reserved for any gender, roses can accentuate a pair of shapely hips or a muscly bicep.

No matter how popular they become, there is something special about roses.

Is it their dense petals, their distinct fragrance, the contrast between their gorgeous blooms and thorny stems?

If you’re thinking of getting a rose tattoo, it’s worth exploring the symbolism of roses, as well as reflecting what the flower means to you.

Let’s explore what roses symbolize and what they might mean in a tattoo.

Where do Roses Come From?

Roses are beautiful flowers and have graced the earth for approximately 35 million years according to those who study botanical fossils.

Though roses have been on the earth since before any of us arrived, they weren’t properly cultivated until about 5000 years ago.

It was then that folks in China took a liking to the rose, and started studying ways of growing them more effectively.

In the 17th century, roses were so revered, they were even bartered for goods and services.

This is perhaps why it’s considered so romantic to give someone a large bouquet of roses to this day: they were once considered quite regal.

What Do Roses Symbolize?

Of course, because roses have existed on earth for so long, there is no shortage of mythology and superstition attached to them.

They are so beautiful to look at, storytellers throughout history couldn’t resist weaving their tales around these thorny blossoms.

Roses In Greek Mythology

Aphrodite has a long-standing relationship with roses.

When Cronus overthrew his father, he cut off his penis and threw it into the ocean.

That disembodied penis then created our Venus, who washed up in the seafoam, leaving pristine white flowers in her path.

Pretty ideal outcome for a severed penis.

White roses are often said to signify purity and new beginnings, making them a nice match for this freshly minted goddess as she graced the earth for the first time.

In another story about Aphrodite, she is madly in love with Adonis, her male counterpart as the god of beauty and desire.

Ares confesses to the goddess that he sent a wild boar out to hurt Adonis when he set off on his hunt.

Aphrodite immediately rushes out to help him, but gets tangled in a rose bush and cuts her leg.

As her blood hits the white rose blossoms, they turn red.

She misses her opportunity to save Adonis, and when he dies, her tears produce red roses.

This story may be responsible for our romantic feelings about roses.

Sailors would often wear red rose tattoos as a symbol of the women they left behind on their voyage: their mothers, daughters, and lovers.

Roses in Alice in Wonderland

In this classic tale, Alice encounters some of the Queen’s servants painting the white roses red.

They do this frantically to appease the queen, as she only likes red roses.

This serves as symbolism for Alice’s transition from an innocent little girl to a young woman.

In this case, it may also be a symbol of menstruation.

Roses In The Little Prince

In this treasured children’s book, our beloved Prince sets out on a quest after becoming restless and unhappy on his tiny planet with his red rose.

The rose asks a lot of the Little Prince, but doesn’t seem to have any affection for him in return.

When our prince finds a garden full of roses, he is at first disappointed and feels sorry for the flower, who thinks she is special.

He eventually comes to realize that his rose is special because he took the time and effort to take care of her, and that makes her unlike any other flower in the garden.

This is a symbol of a deep and lasting love that, despite its challenges, has the power to transform a person.

Roses in American Beauty

The dramatic movie American Beauty features a stunning display of rose petals on its cover art and throughout the film.

On the surface they seem to symbolize lust and desire, but they were chosen because they are vulnerable to rot.

The family in the movie is falling apart as a result of their own individual desires and restlessness within the suburban setting of the film.

Roses are complicated flowers because they tend to be high maintenance, can dye easily, and have thorns that can cut your fingers if you aren’t careful.

In this instance, they can represent the beauty and the tragedy of life- which would give your rose tattoo quite the nuanced meaning!

What Does Each Color of Rose Tattoo Mean?

When presenting someone with a rose, it is important to note the color.

The same goes for getting a rose tattoo.

White Rose: new beginnings, purity, innocence.

Red Rose: passion, strong feelings, romance, immortal love.

Pink Rose: a new romance, a sweet love, a mother’s love, femininity, and elegance.

Yellow Rose: yellow roses once represented jealousy, but have come to symbolize friendship or remembrance.

Orange Rose: excitement, energy, feeling pumped up about something.

Purple Rose: regality, or feeling enchanted by something or someone.

Blue Rose: blue roses are not natural, they have to be made by a florist. They can symbolize fantasies or spirituality, an ethereal quality, or something unattainable.

Black Rose: death, mourning a loved one.

Symbols for Rose Tattoos

Roses can have special meaning when paired with different symbols.

Here are a few for you to consider when getting your rose tattoo.

Rose and Swallow: a sailor’s symbolism for a promise to return home to those who love them. Swallows can fly far, far away from where they come from, and find their way home just as easily.

Rose and Skull: the inevitability of death, and the love that makes you live on forever in people’s hearts.

Rose and Dagger: heartbreak, or a reminder not to let your passion destroy you.

The Meanings in the Shapes of Roses

When getting a rose tattoo, consider how “mature” the rose is.

Roses in full bloom represent maturity, and something coming to fruition.

A rosebud tattoo represents new beginnings, something on the horizon.

Wilting roses represent death, disappointment, and (sometimes necessary) endings.

Main Themes in Rose Tattoos

Dead Rose Tattoos

Dead Rose Tattoo
Dead Rose Tattoo
Dead Rose Tattoo
Dead Rose Tattoo

Skull & Rose Tattoos

Skull & Rose Tattoo
Skull & Rose Tattoo
Skull & Rose Tattoo
Skull & Rose Tattoo
Skull & Rose Tattoo

Clock & Rose Tattoos

Clock and Rose Tattoo
Clock and Rose Tattoo
Clock and Rose Tattoo
Clock and Rose Tattoo

Money Rose Tattoos

Money Rose Tattoo
Money Rose Tattoo
Money Rose Tattoo
Money Rose Tattoo
Money Rose Tattoo
Money Rose Tattoo
Money Rose Tattoo

Bleeding Rose Tattoos

Bleeding Rose Tattoo
Bleeding Rose Tattoo
Bleeding Rose Tattoo
Bleeding Rose Tattoo

Zoomorphic Themes

Tiger & Rose Tattoos

Tiger & Rose Tattoo
Tiger & Rose Tattoo
Tiger & Rose Tattoo
Tiger & Rose Tattoo

Eagle & Rose Tattoos

Eagle & Rose Tattoo
Eagle & Rose Tattoo

Lion & Rose Tattoos

Lion & Rose Tattoo
Lion & Rose Tattoo

Wolf & Rose Tattoos

Wolf & Rose Tattoo

Hummingbird & Rose Tattoos

Hummingbird & Rose Tattoo

Butterfly & Rose Tattoos

Butterfly & Rose Tattoo
Butterfly & Rose Tattoo
Butterfly & Rose Tattoo
Butterfly & Rose Tattoo

Snake and Rose Tattoos

Snake and Rose Tattoo
Snake and Rose Tattoo
Snake and Rose Tattoo
Snake and Rose Tattoo

Roses & Other Floral Tattoos

Sunflower & Rose Tattoos

Sunflower & Rose Tattoo
Sunflower & Rose Tattoo

Hibiscus & Rose Tattoos

Hibiscus & Rose Tattoo

Rose Bouquet Tattoos

Rose Bouquet Tattoo
Rose Bouquet Tattoo

Nautical Motifs

Compass & Rose Tattoos

Compass And Rose Tattoo
Compass And Rose Tattoo
Compass And Rose Tattoo
Compass And Rose Tattoo
Compass And Rose Tattoo
Compass And Rose Tattoo

Lighthouse & Rose Tattoos

Lighthouse and Rose Tattoo
Lighthouse and Rose Tattoo

Rose & Anchor Tattoos

Rose & Anchor Tattoo
Rose & Anchor Tattoo
Rose & Anchor Tattoo

How to Choose the Perfect Rose Tattoo Design

One of the best things about rose tattoos is that they’re perfect for both men and women and can be used in a variety of designs.

They are also great tattoos because they can be tattooed in a slew of different hues, each conveying their own meaning, symbolism, and emphasis.

Although rose tattoos have been a popular design choice for men and women for decades, choosing the perfect rose tattoo design isn’t as simple as it may seem.

Here are a few different things you should keep in mind when choosing the best rose tattoo design for you.

Color

The first thing you will want to consider when choosing the perfect rose tattoo design for you is color.

When it comes to rose tattoo designs, color can be deeply meaningful.

As highlighted above, each rose coloring holds a different meaning.

Take this into consideration when choosing which color (if any) you want your rose tattoo to be.

Men may choose to get their rose tattoo design in black and grey ink to boost masculinity while women may prefer to convey deep meaning and beauty in their rose tattoo design by using bright colors.

Regardless of your specific preferences, consider the color of your rose tattoo design carefully when working with your tattoo artist to craft the perfect design.

Purple Rose Tattoos

Purple Rose Tattoo
Purple Rose Tattoo
Purple Rose Tattoo

Blue Rose Tattoos

Blue Rose Tattoo
Blue Rose Tattoo

Yellow Rose Tattoos

Yellow Rose Tattoo
Yellow Rose Tattoo
Yellow Rose Tattoo

Black Rose Tattoos

Black Rose Tattoo
Black Rose Tattoo

Symbolism

As highlighted above, rose tattoos can convey various symbolic meanings.

For this reason, it is crucial that you consider the symbolism you want to convey in your rose tattoo design (if any) when working collaboratively with your tattoo artist.

One thing to consider when thinking about the symbolism behind your rose tattoo is how many roses you are getting tattooed.

Believe it or not, the number of roses used in your tattoo can carry meaning.

If you decide to get a single rose, it is important to remember that your tattoo can still be a masterpiece of art and philosophy while centered around only a single rose.

A single rose, for example, can symbolize independence, courage, love, and individuality.

On the other hand, several roses are equally as meaningful.

Small budding roses with a single rose, for example, means that you are looking into the future as an individual and two roses can symbolize your future with a loved one.

A bouquet of roses is typically used to symbolize the involvement of several loved ones in your life story while a black bouquet of roses can be symbolic of the story of loss.

A huge loss in your life is usually symbolized by a bouquet of black roses and is the perfect rose tattoo design to be used in memorial tattoo pieces, for example.

Consider the meaning you want to convey with your rose tattoo design carefully as this is a huge component of the overall design.

Sizing

Sizing is another important thing to consider when crafting the perfect rose tattoo design.

While this can tie in with the meaning of your tattoo, it is important to consider sizing carefully when choosing the perfect rose tattoo design as this will later determine another important part of the process: body placement.

Do you want your tattoo to be bright, flashy, and easily-seen?

If so, you may want to consider getting a large rose tattoo.

Will you be featuring several roses in your rose tattoo design or, perhaps, a bouquet of roses?

If so, you’ll probably want to get a large tattoo and this can play a huge role in your decision on placement.

Consider the size you want your rose tattoo design to be carefully throughout the process of choosing the right design as this will later determine where you are able to place your tattoo as well as the meaning you want to convey.

Small Rose Tattoos

Small Rose Tattoo
Small Rose Tattoo
Small Rose Tattoo
Small Rose Tattoo
Small Rose Tattoo
Small Rose Tattoo
Small Rose Tattoo
Small Rose Tattoo
Small Rose Tattoo

Large Rose Tattoos

Large Rose Tattoo
Large Rose Tattoo
Large Rose Tattoo

Body Placement

Where you decide to place your rose tattoo design is obviously a very personal decision.

Considering the fact that rose tattoo designs feature both a large amount of depth and meaning, it is important to consider placement carefully when thinking about your design.

Your body is a canvas and where you choose to place your rose tattoo design can either be personal and meaningful or just a matter of personal aesthetic preference.

Luckily, rose tattoo designs are very versatile and can be put nearly anywhere on the body.

Rose tattoos can be placed either behind the ear or on the neck, on the wrist, or anywhere else you can imagine.

Your decision of placement when it comes to your rose tattoo design, however, largely depends on your own pain tolerance as well.

It is important to remember that chubbier areas of your body will be more able to tolerate more elaborate designs while areas with less fat will be likely to hurt a bit more, perhaps best left for a smaller, more simple rose tattoo design.

Take this into consideration when choosing where to place your rose tattoo design.

If you have any questions about where the best place to put your rose tattoo design is, don’t be afraid to ask your tattoo artist!

They can help you make the best decision for you.

Rose Tattoos on Chest

Rose Tattoo on Chest
Rose Tattoo on Chest
Rose Tattoo on Chest
Rose Tattoo on Chest

Rose Tattoos on Forearm

Rose Tattoo on Forearm
Rose Tattoo on Forearm
Rose Tattoo on Forearm
Rose Tattoo on Forearm
Rose Tattoo on Forearm
Rose Tattoo on Forearm
Rose Tattoo on Forearm
Rose Tattoo on Forearm
Rose Tattoo on Forearm
Rose Tattoo on Forearm

Rose Tattoos on Wrist

Rose Tattoo on Wrist
Rose Tattoo on Wrist
Rose Tattoo on Wrist
Rose Tattoo on Wrist
Rose Tattoo on Wrist

Rose Tattoos on Shoulder

Rose Tattoo on Shoulder
Rose Tattoo on Shoulder
Rose Tattoo on Shoulder
Rose Tattoo on Shoulder
Rose Tattoo on Shoulder
Rose Tattoo on Shoulder

Finger Rose Tattoos

Finger Rose Tattoo
Finger Rose Tattoo
Finger Rose Tattoo
Finger Rose Tattoo
Finger Rose Tattoo
Finger Rose Tattoo
Finger Rose Tattoo
Finger Rose Tattoo

Rose Tattoos on the Upper Arm

Rose Tattoo on the Upper Arm
Rose Tattoo on the Upper Arm
Rose Tattoo on the Upper Arm
Rose Tattoo on the Upper Arm
Rose Tattoo on the Upper Arm
Rose Tattoo on the Upper Arm

Rose Tattoos on The Back of The Hand

Rose Tattoo on the Back of the Hand
Rose Tattoo on the Back of the Hand
Rose Tattoo on the Back of the Hand
Rose Tattoo on the Back of the Hand
Rose Tattoo on the Back of the Hand

Rose Tattoos on the Neck

Rose Tattoo on the Neck
Rose Tattoo on the Neck
Rose Tattoo on the Neck
Rose Tattoo on the Neck

Rose Tattoos on Sternum

Rose Tattoo on Sternum
Rose Tattoo on Sternum

Rose Tattoos on Thigh

Rose Tattoo on the Thigh
Rose Tattoo on the Thigh
Rose Tattoo on the Thigh
Rose Tattoo on the Thigh
Rose Tattoo on the Thigh

Rose Tattoos on Calf

Rose Tattoo on Calf
Rose Tattoo on Calf
Rose Tattoo on Calf
Rose Tattoo on Calf

Your Tattoo Artist

Finally, your tattoo artist is definitely something to take into consideration when choosing the best rose tattoo design for you.

Your chosen tattoo artist’s unique skills and abilities are something you should consider when working with them to create the best rose tattoo design.

Some tattoo artists are better at creating rose tattoo designs than others- in fact, some tattoo artists even specialize in rose tattoos.

While the ability to tattoo complex, beautiful roses tend to be something nearly any tattoo artist can do thanks to how common they are, it’s important that you take a look at your tattoo artist’s portfolio before making a final decision.

It is very likely that your tattoo artist will have a rose tattoo somewhere in their portfolio and you should take a close look at what they have completed in the past.

Taking their unique style into account, ask yourself if this type of rose is something you will be proud to wear for the rest of your life.

If so, you can go forth with confidence that your tattoo artist will be able to create a rose tattoo design that you can cherish for the rest of your life!

Rose Tattoo Designs

Roses are a classic on the tattoo scene for a reason.

Why not get a rose tattoo yourself?

With so many possibilities for shapes, colors, and designs, you can really make your rose tattoo your own.

Still in the “budding” stage of your rose tattoo concept?

Check out our rose tattoo gallery for a bouquet of inspiration!

Black And Grey Rose Tattoos

Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo
Black And Grey Rose Tattoo

Realistic Rose Tattoos

Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo
Realistic Rose Tattoo

Black-work Rose Tattoos

Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo
Black-work Rose Tattoo

Watercolor Rose Tattoos

Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo
Watercolor Rose Tattoo

Dot-work Rose Tattoos

Dot-work Rose Tattoo
Dot-work Rose Tattoo
Dot-work Rose Tattoo
Dot-work Rose Tattoo

One Line Rose Tattoos

One Line Rose Tattoo
One Line Rose Tattoo

Horror Inspired Tattoos

Horror Rose Tattoo
Horror Rose Tattoo
Horror Rose Tattoo
Horror Rose Tattoo
Horror Rose Tattoo
Horror Rose Tattoo
Horror Rose Tattoo

Negative Space Tattoos

Negative Space Rose Tattoo
Negative Space Rose Tattoo

Illustrative Rose Tattoos

Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo
Illustrative Rose Tattoo

Stick & Poke Rose Tattoos

Stick & Poke Rose Tattoo
Stick & Poke Rose Tattoo

Single Needle Rose Tattoos

Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo
Single Needle Rose Tattoo

Sketchy Rose Tattoos

Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo
Sketchy Rose Tattoo

Ornamental Rose Tattoos

Ornamental Rose Tattoo
Ornamental Rose Tattoo
Ornamental Rose Tattoo
Ornamental Rose Tattoo
Ornamental Rose Tattoo
Ornamental Rose Tattoo
Ornamental Rose Tattoo
Ornamental Rose Tattoo
Ornamental Rose Tattoo
Ornamental Rose Tattoo

Etching Rose Tattoos

Etching Rose Tattoo
Etching Rose Tattoo
Etching Rose Tattoo
Etching Rose Tattoo

Graphic Rose Tattoos

Graphic Rose Tattoo
Graphic Rose Tattoo
Graphic Rose Tattoo
Graphic Rose Tattoo

Contemporary Rose Tattoos

Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo
Contemporary Rose Tattoo

Rose Tattoo Ideas

Bracelet Rose Tattoos

Bracelet Rose Tattoo

Sleeve Rose Tattoos

Rose Sleeve Tattoo
Rose Sleeve Tattoo
Rose Sleeve Tattoo
Rose Sleeve Tattoo
Rose Sleeve Tattoo

Simple Rose Tattoos

Simple Rose Tattoo
Simple Rose Tattoo
Simple Rose Tattoo
Simple Rose Tattoo
Simple Rose Tattoo

Long Stem Rose Tattoos

Long Stem Rose Tattoo
Long Stem Rose Tattoo
Long Stem Rose Tattoo
Long Stem Rose Tattoo
Long Stem Rose Tattoo

Infinity Rose Tattoos

Infinity Rose Tattoo
Infinity Rose Tattoo
Infinity Rose Tattoo
Infinity Rose Tattoo
Infinity Rose Tattoo

Rose Tattoo Artists

Megan Massacre

Vic Vivid

Mark Wade

Phil Garcia

Alessandro Capozzi

Levgen

Jose Guevara Morales

Sam Barber

Ryan Smith

Clifford Chen

Andrés Acosta

Liz Venom

Adam F

Chris Rigoni

Pony Wave

Zihwa

Doy

For more floral tattoos, go to:

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Rose Tattoos FAQ

What Does Each Color of Rose Tattoo Mean?

White Rose: new beginnings, purity, innocence.
Red Rose: passion, strong feelings, romance, immortal love.
Pink Rose: a new romance, a sweet love, a mother’s love, femininity, and elegance.
Yellow Rose: yellow roses once represented jealousy, but have come to symbolize friendship or remembrance.
Orange Rose: excitement, energy, feeling pumped up about something.
Purple Rose: regality, or feeling enchanted by something or someone.
Blue Rose: blue roses are not natural, they have to be made by a florist. They can symbolize fantasies or spirituality, an ethereal quality, or something unattainable.
Black Rose: death, mourning a loved one.

What are the main symbols in rose tattoos?

Rose and Swallow: a sailor’s symbolism for a promise to return home to those who love them. Swallows can fly far, far away from where they come from, and find their way home just as easily.
Rose and Skull: the inevitability of death, and the love that makes you live on forever in people’s hearts.
Rose and Dagger: heartbreak, or a reminder not to let your passion destroy you.

What Does Each Shape of Rose Tattoo Mean?

When getting a rose tattoo, consider how “mature” the rose is.
Roses in full bloom represent maturity, and something coming to fruition.A rosebud tattoo represents new beginnings, something on the horizon. Wilting roses represent death, disappointment, and (sometimes necessary) endings.