Traditional Rose Tattoos
Rose tattoos are present in many different styles and cultures around the world.
From simple and sweet to detailed and highly significant, roses are stunning and natural wonders of the world rich with meaning, beauty, and power both as flowers and tattoo subjects.
Most of these rose tattoos are in the traditional tattoo style, a stunning example of historic tattooing characterized by bold lines, bright colors, and timeless subjects.
The rose is one of the most common subjects of traditional tattoos and makes for the perfect traditional style because of the thick lining of the petals and color opportunities in each tattoo.
Traditional Rose Tattoo Meanings
The Flower of Love
Roses are most commonly recognized as symbols of love and delicate beauty.
Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love, is often pictured with a rose, linking it with both stunning beauty and powerful, even divine love.
A Symbol of Balance
In tarot culture, roses are symbols of balance and power that can represent a great equalizer.
This comes because of the rose’s dual nature: beautiful petals that feature hope, love, and power protected by sharp and painful thorns that symbolize defensiveness, pain, and carelessness.
Rose Color Tattoo Meanings
In the language of flowers and color representations, the color of your rose can have a huge impact on the meaning of your rose tattoo.
- White Rose Tattoos
White roses are symbols of childlike innocence, purity, and youth.
They can also be seen as bridal roses because of their connection to purity and eternal, young love.
- Yellow Rose Tattoos
Yellow roses are the color of friendship and happiness.
These traditional colors are great to memorialize or symbolize a great friendship with someone as well as genuine joy or laughter in life.
- Peach Rose Tattoos
Peach or light orange roses are the roses of gratitude.
Used in thank-you bouquets or as a symbol of genuine gratitude, peach roses are perfect signs of deep, sincere thankfulness for someone or something.
- Orange Rose Tattoos
The orange rose is energetic, enthusiastic, and full of desire.
With an orange rose tattoo, you’re being bold in your intentions and excitement about life.
- Pink Rose Tattoos
The feminine flower, a pink rose in any shade represents femininity, sweetness, grace, and a gentle joy that simply radiates from any bouquet decorated with these beautiful touches.
- Red Rose Tattoos
The rose of love, red roses are roses of passion, desire, romance, and deep desire.
On special occasions, anniversaries, or moments you want to remember, a red rose is the perfect gift to your one true flame.
- Purple Rose Tattoos
These rare but still beautiful purple roses are connected with wonder, mystery, and secret love.
Having a purple rose on your tattoo might show your mystery side as well as your love of someone who doesn’t know it just yet.
- Blue Rose Tattoos
The perfectly unique and independent rose, blue roses are the absolute symbol of the impossible or the out of reach.
A blue rose tattoo is the perfect choice for someone who loves being an independent and bold soul who isn’t afraid of anything and is ready to take on the world with confidence.
- Black Rose Tattoos
Black roses are frequently used in funerals, but they don’t need to always be associated with death.
Black roses can symbolize a new beginning or a new change, a transition to new and exciting events that you simply can’t wait for.
Main Themes in Traditional Rose Tattoos
Roses can appear in many different and exciting styles depending on your culture and connection to the image.
As a symbol of beauty, power, sacrifice, and passion, the rose is a versatile tattoo design that has several major themes consistent throughout their design styles and patterns.
If you’re looking for some major tattoo inspiration, these rose tattoo themes will help you find some suggestions for your next inked masterpiece!
- Traditional Rose and Dagger Tattoo
Rose and daggers are a common tattoo combination that has incredible significance for many people.
A rose is already recognized as a beautiful dual symbol of both beauty and danger, one that’s made even more powerful with the inclusion of the dagger.
A sharp dagger is a representation of death, betrayal, and destruction, which provides a beautiful contrast alongside the stunning and fragile beauty of the rose.
- Traditional Rose and Skull Tattoo
Roses are unmistakably symbols of life, beauty, and living power.
When alongside the stark skull as a symbol of death and finality, a rose and skull tattoo symbolizes how beautiful and fragile both life and death are.
Skulls are also connected to the tarot, a tradition in which the rose shows up as a symbol of balance between life and death as well.
- Traditional Rose with Stem Tattoo
Roses are beautiful flowers with fragile and almost ethereal beauty contained in every petal, but their stems are equally significant parts of their design.
The rose stem is their protector, containing sharp thorns and thick, bushy leaves that help keep roses safe from predators.
A rose and stem tattoo represents the defensive protection that often accompanies great beauty and the dual nature between pleasure and pain.
- Traditional Black & Grey Rose Tattoo
Roses are known for their vibrant colors and larger than life designs, but a black and grey rose tattoo can be just as significant and beautiful.
Black roses are traditional symbols of death and rebirth, so for the individual who is experiencing a new change a black and grey rose tattoo might be the perfect signal of their new life and new ink.
- Traditional Snake and Rose Tattoo
Roses are known as symbols of purity and beauty, especially white roses.
The snake is long recognized as the original tempter, a corrupting animal whose cunning intelligence can bring anything to a screeching halt.
A traditional snake and rose tattoo symbolizes how quickly beauty can be corrupted and how innocence and beauty can quickly be lost.
- Traditional Rose and Panther Tattoos
American traditional is a popular tattoo style among many contemporary tattoo fans due to its historic legacy in the tattoo industry.
American traditional is one of the oldest tattoo styles and is instantly recognizable thanks to its bold lines and primary coloring.
These themes play well in rose and panther tattoos.
Roses are beautiful, bright, and shocking examples of beauty and delicate grace that provide a sharp contrast to the fierce, final beauty and strength of the stalking panther.
- Traditional Rose & Tiger Tattoos
American traditional rose and tiger tattoos are one of the more famous and recognizable tattoo combinations.
American traditional roses and tigers are both common subjects because the thick lines, outlines, and coloring of both roses and tigers lend themselves well to the American traditional style.
Together, they might represent an homage to tattooing history as well as the gentle intertwining of life, color, and vigor that comes with a rose and tiger.
Traditional Rose Tattoo Ideas
Traditional rose tattoos are popular with many thanks to their history within the tattooing community and their beautiful artistic opportunities.
Luckily, there are many sub-styles of traditional rose tattoos that you can take and personalize to help make your own.
Check out these popular traditional rose tattoo ideas to help inspire your rose piece!
- Small Traditional Rose Tattoo
Roses make great small traditional tattoos because of their delicate nature and intricate detailing.
With a small traditional rose tattoo, you can use fine-lining or other detailing to help emphasize the beauty and simplicity of the rose as well as create a personal reminder of beauty, perseverance, and power.
- Simple Traditional Rose Tattoo
Though the rose is a complex flower with many petals and thorns intertwining to make one beautiful piece of floral art, it doesn’t have to be a complex tattoo to be beautiful.
A simple traditional rose tattoo is a great way to enjoy the simple beauty of the rose through streamlined tattoo and detailing.
- Traditional Blue Rose Tattoo
Blue roses are roses of mystery, the unattainable, and the extremely powerful.
A blue rose tattoo might represent not only your creativity but also your commitment to new and exciting things.
You could also get this tattoo to convey your devil-may-care attitude or a desire to reach a goal that many consider to be impossible or otherwise unreachable.
- Traditional Yellow Rose Tattoo
Yellow roses are eternal symbols of friendship, joy, and connection.
A yellow rose tattoo might be a great tattoo to get with a friend as a shared tattoo or in memory of a friend or lost loved one that you cherished dearly.
You can also get a yellow rose tattooed on you to depict your joy and happiness with life or with a particular event or moment.
Traditional Rose Tattoo Placement
Once you’ve settled on a design for your next rose tattoo, it’s time to determine where the best place to put it will be!
Roses make great tattoos no matter where you put them, but some places are better suited than others to showcase your stunning new ink.
Each of these locations can bring new life and energy to your rose tattoo as well as invigorate your tattoo design and style!
- Traditional Rose Chest Tattoo
A rose on the chest is a great way to carry a loved one with you or close to your heart, especially if it’s a red or yellow rose.
You can create a huge, expansive rose-inspired chest piece or simply tuck a small rose tattoo right over your heart to symbolize a loved one.
Either way, the chest is a great place to put a traditional rose tattoo!
- Traditional Rose Tattoo on Knee
Knees are one of the more painful places to get tattooed, but having a rose on your knee is nonetheless a great place to show off some new ink!
A traditional rose tattoo on your knee might symbolize the connection between beauty and pain that’s present in roses, as you’ll be getting a beautiful flower and beautiful new tattoo but in a sensitive and painful location!
- Traditional Rose Elbow Tattoo
Roses are flowers that symbolize beauty but also protection.
Having a rose tattoo on your elbow can symbolize your desire to see and be protected by your rose at all times, as well as enjoying the dual and balanced nature of the rose when it comes to beauty and protection.
It’s also a great place to get a wrap-around tattoo, which is a good style to enjoy with flowers so you can consider doing an entire bouquet of roses!
- Traditional Rose Neck Tattoo
The neck is a bold place to put statement tattoos, and roses are bold statements of love, passion, and desire.
The two make the perfect pair, so having a traditional rose tattoo on your neck almost makes sense!
You can select a single rose for a more simple approach or turn to multiple roses or rose inspired tattoos depending on your style and preference.
- Traditional Rose Hand Tattoo
A traditional rose hand tattoo is one of the more common and more beautiful places to put your tattoo.
You have a lot of flexibility here in tattoo style and size, whether you want a delicate single rose and stem along your palm or a large and detailed rose on the back of your hand.
No matter which direction you go, your rose tattoo on the hand will make a statement about beauty and power whenever you shake someone’s hand next!