In modern times the iris flower is very ubiquitous and popular, making them a favorite among many artists because of its variety of colors and unique shapes, and translate well to tattoo designs, which a growing number of people are choosing to have inked on them.
While maybe more humble today, the iris has a storied past, with many painting them, including several by Vincent van Gogh, among many others.
Irises have also been historically important to many houses, cities and regions, being an emblem, symbol or coat-of-arms to a number of them; some of which continue to this day.
As to the meaning of an iris, it has been historically considered by some to be a warning when you come across its path. In an expanded sense it is believed to point to the grief suffered by young ladies over a lost love, as they quietly grieve over the loss.
So there is a romantic connotation enhanced by the beauty and structure of the iris flower which continues to attract those hurt by lost love or those with a romantic outlook on life in general.
See all 6 photos Source: northernshade
To give you an idea of the major inspiration behind the iris tattoo, there is a photo of the most commonly seen iris, with the purple color an yellow markings on the inner part of the flower petal.
Purple Iris Tattoo
With the real look of the iris in our minds, we'll introduce the first iris tattoo which is modeled after it. This is the only one we'll see exactly like this, as the tattoo gallery will focus on a variety of iris designs rather than a different look for the same particular flower.
In the tattoo below I like the way the artist capture the essence of the flower. You look at it and know exactly what it is, even though an attempt to create an exact replica wasn't made. The artistic style works well here.
Tree Frog on Iris Tattoo
This is a cute tattoo of a green tree frog sitting in the middle of the purple iris flower. I'm always amazed at how adding an additional element of theme to the major subject of a tattoo can change the way it looks and feels so drastically.
Adding the frog into the design is a case in point, which turns an other traditional iris tattoo into a very cool one.
See all 6 photos Source: everytattoo
Beautiful Blue Iris Design
Gorgeous is the word I choose to describe this wonderful blue iris tattoo design, which is very realistic and done extremely well. All the leaves and unfolded, hanging flowers look fantastic against the inner flowers which are pointing up so strongly towards the sky.
The yellow color of the inner part of the leaves and the vibrant green stem complete this terrific iris tattoo.
See all 6 photos Source: merchantcircle
Tribal Blue Iris Tattoo
Here we have a tribal interpretation of an iris, this time with the tribal element being designed via the stem of the flower, as you can see when locating the place where it connects at the bottom of the flower.
Overall this looks pretty good, although that bit of purplish color at the end of the two leaves hanging down takes away from, rather than adds to, the quality of the tattoo.
Dark Iris Tattoo
Too bad the photo of this tattoo is a little sub par, otherwise I think we would see a really well done tattoo. As it stands it looks good, but parts of it aren't quite as clear as I would like in order to make a definitive judgement.
From what I can see the detail is very nice, with the shape and folds of the flower designed very well.
See all 6 photos Source: ratemyink
Knife and Iris
This design obviously has some type of unique meaning to the designer or recipient, as it's simply not conceivable to figure out what a knife plunged into a iris means, unless it's referring to the meaning associated with grieving people who have lost a loved one.
While I actually like the tattoo, the orangish background needs to go so the image can stand out clearer. For reasons hard to understand, some designers add these strange backgrounds in an attempt to enhance the subject of a tattoo, which in fact end up taking away from it.
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Skull and Iris Tattoo
Now here's an interesting interpretation of an iris, with the image of a skull implanted on one of the petals of the flower. Again, I must appeal to the meaning of an iris for this to make much sense.
It seems it's referencing lost romance or loss of innocence those with a romantic outlook of life sometimes have to endure. The skull would in that case represent the death of those particular things in the life of the person it's referring to.
Of course the tattoo artist may be clueless to all of this and instead created an image like this to garner some attention. Either way, it's unique and interesting, and sure to attract the type of interest which generates comments and conversation.
See all 6 photos Source: spellfire42489.deviantart
As you can see, what makes the iris such a great inspiration for tattoos designs is its overall look, along with the ability of artists to create all sorts of interesting themes and interpretations using the flower as a prop or realistically to stand on its own.
Either way, for those looking for a tattoo that is different, or a flower tattoo, the iris is an option that should be looked at seriously.