Updated date:

Gargoyle Tattoo Designs and Meanings

Gargoyles

Gargoyle history is interesting in that it is far less flamboyant and mystical than modern-day interpretation has given it.

As to the practical side, gargoyles were nothing more than a type of a gutter, with some of the more elongated ones being shaped for that purpose so the water would be released further out from a building.

What about those figures that resemble a gargoyle but aren't used as a water spout? They are actually a different type of architecture called a grotesque; the difference being whether it is used to redirect water or not.

In spite of the very practical purpose of gargoyles, the shapes were used at times to speak to the general population of a certain qualities of the representative image, depending on what part of the world it was located in and what period of time in history it was.

Even so, the mythology has grown concerning gargoyles, and in our time they've taken on their own legend, being portrayed as living creatures with various purposes; mostly not good ones.

  • Skull Wearing Hat Tattoo Designs
    Tattoos of skulls wearing hats are awesome, and include a little bit of everything in the way of hats, including cowboy hats, top hats, jester and baseball hats. But it doesn't end there. While wearing a variety of hats, the skulls, for the most...
  • Cow Skull Tattoo Designs
    One of the more memorial objects in the minds of people envisioning the old west is that of cow skulls scattered among the plains or desert. Many of these were the result of droughts where cattle had trouble finding water, or of tough cattle...

Gargoyle Tattoo Designs

While gargoyles were designed as a wide variety of animals and/or chimeras throughout history, most of those choosing gargoyles as a tattoo theme decide upon more of a demon-looking character as the gargoyle image, giving a nod towards the modern view of the theme.

There are occasional exceptions to that, but that's the general rule of thumb.

Most gargoyle tattoo designs have him perched on some object. It can be on the ledge of a building, top of a church, or some other high place.

  • Harley Davidson Tattoos
    Harley Davidson motorcycles, and the brand itself, have become a way of life for many people, and represents, more than anything, freedom. Consequently, Harley fans are forever looking to express the lifestyle, and one of those choices are to get...
  • Cobra Tattoos
    Cobra and King Cobra tattoos are amazing if you like snakes and that fascinated hood the cobra has. It's a great motivator for tattoo artists wanting to create great designs. While cobras are placed in a variety of places on the body when inked...

Sitting Dog Gargoyle

This first gargoyle tattoo design is one that has a more traditional gargoyle look, with the animal head and body. The inclusion of the wings on the body of the dog is pretty interesting, and common for the wide variety of gargoyle types throughout history.

Also of interest is the chain attached to the gargoyle, implying there is something more to this creature than it appears.

The art work is good, with a nice combination of shadow and lighting to give it a mysterious feel.

  • Powerful Warrior Tattoos
    Tattoo designs are extremely important to those in the midst of making a decision on whether or not to have one permanently inked on their bodies, and almost always they will represent something very significant to those bearing them. It could be...
  • Zombie Tattoo Designs
    There is no doubt one of the more popular themes of the entertainment industry over the last several years has been vampires, werewolves and zombies, among a variety of other roles and characters representing a number of bad creatures. Zombie...

Living Gargoyle Tattoo

With this tattoo design we have the modern version of the theme, with the gargoyle having left its perch and wandering around wreaking havoc in the world.

The raised claw is particularly cool. You get the idea it's climbing a building, using the sharp claws to penetrate into the side to use as leverage.

Of course he could have just flown with those wings, but you never know why a gargoyle is doing what it's doing.

As to the design, it's very detailed and of good quality.

Gargoyles Tattoos

  • Werewolf Tattoos You Can't Ignore
    While werewolf tattoos obviously aren't for everyone, if you like fantasy art, it's definitely a compelling theme, even if you aren't the type to have it inked on you. For those that do enjoy horror, werewolves are among the best in my opinion, as...
  • Tool Metal Band Tattoos
    "Tool" is an alternative metal band that started off as a heavy metal group. The band has clashed with the general public and the music industry itself, but has a strong fan base that has been extremely loyal. Some have labeled them

Sitting Gargoyle Tattoo

Here we have a gargoyle appearing to be sitting on the ledge of a building, apparently doing its job of dispelling water to the street below.

One has to look at those wings and wonder what they are there for, and if this creature will be taking off and flying once the sun goes down.

Whether it is or not, this is a good tattoo, and I like the architecture and the way it was designed as much as the gargoyle. They blend together very well to create a compelling image.

  • Halloween Tattoo Designs and Ideas
    Halloween is one of the most popular days of the year, generating close to the amount of interest that Christmas brings. That has resulted in a growing interest in tattoo designs associated with the special day. Tattoos celebrating Halloween...
  • Dark Jester Tattoos
    A Jester, or Court Jester, was largely a product of European culture, and was employed to provide a variety of entertainment, and also in some cases, to provide advise to political leaders, especially the king or queen. Another role was that of...

Evil Gargoyle Tattoo

I call this an evil gargoyle tattoo because it incorporates more of the characteristics of evil than the others do.

It has the clawed hands; horns on the head; those large, pointed ears; and large feet with enormous, sharp claws.

The shadowed eyes also give him an ominous look; something you wouldn't want to run into at night, or any time for that matter. Very good tattoo.

  • Hellboy Tattoos
    If there's an interesting story to tell, there's an interesting tattoo to design, and that's the truth with the cult hero 'Hellboy,' who has been a fixture among fans for those who know him for some time. His unique reddish skin gives him great...
  • Ozzy Osbourne Tattoos
    When one thinks of Ozzy Osbourne, usually it's in regard to excess, and that isn't far from the truth, if not the exact truth. His wild and crazy persona and lifestyle was reflected in his stage presence and music; as he put on a wild and...

Gargoyle Tattoo Sitting on Top of Cross on Church

Among all the gargoyle tattoo designs here, this is probably the most unusual in the way the hair of the creature itself is made, and the subject matter itself.

It appears the one is a very personal tattoo, as those usually are which include names. You never really know what the names mean unless it's explained to you by the personal with the tattoo.

Many times when you see a cross with names included, it's a reference to lost loved ones, but this one isn't quite that clear, as the church is shown as in the middle of the city rather than a graveyard near the building, which portrays that have passed away.

Whatever the personal message may be, it appears that the gargoyle is representing anger over something related to these people, and intends to do something about it.

The art is very good, and as with the others, has a nice combination of shadow and light.

gargoyletattoodesignsgallery

Gargoyle Tattoo Designs

Gargoyle legend and lore offers some terrific subject matter to use for a tattoo design, as you can see above.

But more than that, the shapes and characteristics of gargoyles provide some awesome images to use in gargoyle designs.

Add to that portions of Gothic architecture with the design, and there are some awesome images that can be designed using gargoyles as your tattoo choice.

Comments

Kimberly Reese-Burress from Middleburg, FL on June 11, 2012:

awesome hub! Love the depth of information you give here. Keep it up :)

Related Articles