Traditional Rock of Ages Tattoos

The traditional Rock of Ages tattoo finds its heritage and inspiration from Christian religious imagery. The motif itself is as iconic as it is compelling, whether the wearer is religious or not. It is hard to deny the strong imagery a Rock of Ages tattoo produces. Although having spiritual roots, the wearer can find symbolism in many different aspects of this design and is not necessarily reserved for a religious demographic.

The Rock of Ages was first introduced in the form of a hymn written in 1763 by Reverend Augustus Toplady. When travelling along the Mendip Hills in England, the reverend was caught in a storm, upon finding shelter the lyrics struck him and the hymn was later produced. It is believed that the Rock of Ages refers to Jesus making the connection between the smitten rock of the Old Testament and Jesus’ smitten body. Where the rock was split drew parallels to how Jesus’ body was broken for the sins of the people. It was not for another near 100 years the visual representation of this motif began to take shape. Artist Johannes Oertel painted “Saved, or an Emblematic Representation of Christian Faith” in the 1860s, which was later widely reproduced under the title “Rock of Ages”.

A Rock of Ages tattoo lends itself well to the traditional tattooing format. With strong nautical themes, a woman and religious imagery, these are all considered staples in the classic traditional style. With the design holding different elements, this motif works well on many different parts of the body. Whether the wearer opts for fewer elements to be tattooed smaller on the forearm or to include multiple elements and be tattooed as an entire back piece.

One of the more common meanings of the Rock of Ages tattoo is that of keeping your faith to ensure safety during rough times. The wearer may opt for a more contemporary spin on the traditional design, replacing some of the core elements with something else. A crawling panther in the place of the woman is a great representation of this and one of the many ways in which this tattoo can be personalised.

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Amazing experience getting my first tattoo here. The staff were excellent in helping me get an appointment that suited me. The atmosphere in the studio was great.

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Cloak and Dagger Tattoo London - customer review

Got my first big tattoo, half sleeve on my forearm and couldn’t of picked a better place to have it done. The artist George went Beyond my expectations and done it all in 6 hours And a it was very in-depth tattoo. I recommend this parlour all day!

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Cloak and Dagger Tattoo London - customer review

Had a 7 hour Japanese piece done with Davide De Cinto. Service was great, Davide's work was fanastic and I feel the price was really good value for money in terms of the quality of work Davide is putting out. Highly recommended.

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