For a tattoo artist, recreating a famous work of art isn’t as easy as one would assume. Recreating any design comes with a lot of added pressure to get it right, and do the original artwork justice. As a tribute piece, the artist has to live up to the original design, which despite the constant high quality of design you’re use to seeing on this site, the majority of tattoo artists out there aren’t quite as skilled.
For today’s list, we’ve curated a collection of tattoo designs inspired by some of the most famous works of art in the world.
Here, see if you can recognize which artist influenced each design. And don’t forget to save and share your favorites!
This rejuvenated portrait of The Dream is one of our favorite Picasso inspired tattoos (and there’s a lot), so it was only natural that we featured it first. Although there are a number of art inspired designs on the list that keep their original Quadrilateral form, choosing to go with a circular design is a common occurrence. (Photo: Bombay Foor)
Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night.
There is nothing quite as sad as the story of Vincent van Gogh. Having lived his life so passionately pursuing something only to die before receiving any praise or recognition is a travesty of epic proportions. Besides cutting his ear off and only managing to sell one painting during his lifetime, Van Gogh was able to create billions of dollars worth of art with nothing more than a paintbrush. Respect. (Photo: Eva Krbdk)
Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam.
As the most famous hands in history, Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam—a small portion of the many frescos that don the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—is everywhere in our modern society. So it’s no surprise that this design comes in as number one on the list of most commonly tatted artwork recreations. This particular design was done in a stylish sketch style manner that perhaps might have resembled the first draft of this famous fresco. (Photo: Matteo Nangeroni)
This partial Mona Lisa tattoo.
The world’s most famous smile is barely visible in this creative segmented design. While Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was painted in color, it’s definitely never been referred to as “colorful,” which is why this grey ink design looks so authentic. (Photo: Sanghyuk Ko)
Klimt’s Woman in Gold tattoo.
We’ll admit, we weren’t that familiar with Gustav Klimt before the Hollywood release of Woman in Gold—which is a great film by the way. This risque representation of Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I manages to perfectly adapt his work for the skin. While it looks to be a work still in progress, we’d keep the negative space hairdo just the way it is. (Photo: Hongdam)
This circular Starry Night back piece.
Coming in at a close second,—based on the extensive amount of time we spent looking at art inspired tattoos—Van Gogh’s Starry Night is just that, a star. Everything from the placement, to the visually pleasing oval-shaped container makes this design an awful temptation no matter what sex you may be. (Photo: Sol Art)
Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
Most people aren’t aware that Munch actually created multiple versions of his famous The Scream painting. Four to be exact, three paintings and one pastel. They all look the same and are equally priceless. (Photo: Eva Krbdk)
This Klimt forearm piece.
Here we have another visually stunning Gustav Klimt inspired tattoo. A perfect forearm piece for any art lover. Klimt’s pieces look complicated because they are. Most of his paintings done in a similar fashion to the one above took years to create and contain oil, silver, and gold. (Photo: Remova Zhenya)
This melting clock.
A piece out of Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, this melting clock represented some pretty forward thinking for the 1930’s. By far his most famous painting, The Persistence of Memory has been inspiring artist’s all over the world longer than we’ve had air-conditioned stores. (Photo: Doy)
This Banksy tribute.
The mostly anonymous English-based graffiti artist is responsible for many public artworks that often contain political statements. This design contains a wonderful contrast of color. Stay tuned for an upcoming list showcasing the best of the Banksy inspired tattoo designs. (Photo: Hongdam)