Michael, whose name is literally translated from Hebrew as “Who is like God?”, is considered to be the leader of all angels and the angle of the supreme power. Michael is mentioned as an archangel in three world largest religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Depending on religious traditions he is called “Saint Michael”, “Saint Michael the Archangel” or “Archangel Michael”. He is often seen as a protector who watches over the people. Also, he is the chief prince who defeated Satan.
St Michael Tattoos Meanings
It goes without saying that religious tattoos are highly symbolic and tattoos which illustrate Saint Michael are no exception. Yet the St Michael tattoo meanings can vary a lot:
- Since Michael has defeated Satan, he embodies victory, great bravery, ultimate justice and exceptional strength;
- Michael is the holy righteous warrior in the battle of good against evil;
- He is the guardian of all God’s people, protecting and looking after each of us;
- Saint Michael helps people to get rid of fear; he is a patron of Police officers;
- Saint Michael is the angel of death in Christianity, assisting the dying and weighing souls on Judgement Day;
- Finally, a tattoo with St Michael may symbolize your faith and devotion to religion.
The common features of Saint Michael tattoos
Michael is often depicted as a warrior dressed in armor, holding a sword or a spear that pierces Satan. He has mighty wide-spread wings behind his back. The sunlight beams may be added to the background to highlight dominance and power of the archangel. The prevailing majority of Saint Michael tattoos are being done in black and white, yet you can opt for a color version, for instance, the one that imitates stained glass. Portraying biblical characters requires lots of little details thus it is better to go with a big tattoo somewhere on your shoulder, chest or back. Full sleeves and half sleeves would look awesome as well. Most commonly the already existing paintings and statues of Saint Michael are used as references for tattoos. Here are some of the most well-known:
- “St Michael Archangel”, by Guido Reni
- “Le Grand Saint Michel”, by Raphael
- St Michael statue on Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City
- Statue at St Michaelis Church, Hamburg
When it comes to St Michael tattoo designs, Realism is the most popular tattoo style, but you can easily opt to Traditional, Dotwork, Linework or Blackwork if you like. Whatever the style is, make sure you have found a talented and skillful tattoo artist so that your tattoo would look awesome.
Below you will find some of the best examples of Saint Michael tattoos that will definitely inspire you to get one.
We really like the darkness of this Saint Michael tattoo, the richness of it and that strong statue-like feature it has. Every detail and every shade is flawless. And check out how subtly and masterly lightening in the stormy sky is done.
The strong contrast between heavy black and those areas of skin that are left open are what give this Saint Michael tattoo the depth and “wow-effect”.
There are plenty of statues, sculptures and paintings around the globe that depict the triumph of Michael over the evil forces of hell. Do your own research and find out which one you like best as a reference for your tattoo. Here you can see the beauteous black and gray tattoo inspired by the sculpture of St Michael above the entrance to the St Michael’s Church in Hamburg, Germany.
The breath-taking painting of Archangel Michael by Guido Reni, an Italian painter, has been the inspiration for a plethora of talented tattoo artists. Here we can see the phenomenal black and gray take on this famous painting that nicely sits on man’s shoulder.
Another take on the same painting is presented in black and gray as well but with more visible bold contours. This is the case when a tattoo isn’t finished yet but already looks impressive.
As far as this Dotwork tattoo of Saint Michael defeating Lucifer, it rather reminds a gravure from a book than a tattoo. We wish the proportions of Michael’s hands were more accurate but overall the piece looks fantastic.
Here’s one more tattoo replica of the famous painting of Archangel Michael by Guido Reni but this time in color, so the work looks authentic. As far as capturing the painting, all is there: texture, colors and shades. The design is very sharp and bright.
Here’s the black and gray tattoo copy of the famous artwork by Raphael illustrating the Archangel Michael at the time of his fight with the Demon. The tattoo came out super clean and aesthetically pleasing even without sharp black outlines.
This forearm tattoo is an amazing reproduction of the painting by Luca Giordano that shows the victory of St Michael the Archangel over the Devil. Though the tattoo is a bit dark, it nicely recreates the details of the painting and flows with the shape of the arm.
If you want to have a full sleeve, consider tattooing some additional elements like Gates of Heaven, clouds, a flying dove that represents Holy Spirit and beams of light that symbolize the glory of Michael. This black and gray Saint Michael sleeve is a great example of how all of these elements work together in one piece.
According to the history, St Michael used to be the patron saint of knights. These days, he is thought as the patron saint of people who have dangerous jobs like police officers, firefighters, soldiers, etc. They get inked with images of St Michael in order to receive his protection while they risk their lives on work.
If you like strong and bold tattoos, then look for no more. This Traditional St Michael tattoo is super clean, sharp and bold. The composition is amazing: all the elements like roses, clouds, beams of light, the heart pierced by a knife, the sigil of Archangel Michael and the prayer really work together well.
We’ve seen a great number of different reproduction tattoos of the world’s most famous painting of St Michael by Guido Reni, but this graphic ink is definitely one of our favorites. Seems as if it’s been drawn with charcoal rather than inked. Looks stunning!
We assume that this St Michael chest piece is unfinished yet, but look at how super clean and bold the outlines are. Can’t wait to see the result of this impeccable line work.
The transition from the darkest areas of this black and gray St Michael half sleeve to its lightest is amazingly smooth. The tattoo is delicate and tough at the same time.
Since Michael leads the Army of God in their battle against all the evil, he is often portrayed at the moment of defeating Satan. As a tattoo, it may symbolize overcoming life obstacles of the bearer, like bad habits, addiction, etc.
While most of the existing tattoos depict Michael in the guise of a strong and courageous warrior, this tattoo presents him in a slightly different way. He is still dressed in armor, but his face reminds a child’s face rather than a warrior’s. The tattoo points out that Michael is God’s advocate of justice and mercy in a first place.
Tattoos of archangels, St Michael in particular, are just perfect for men because these tattoos convey a great sense of strength. As far as this tattoo, a perfectly caught light source, heavy black shading, the smooth gradation of gray: all of these factors create a really strong image of St Michael that every man would like to wear on their skin.
Beautiful, clean outline along with smooth stippling shading make this Dotwork tattoo take on the statue of St Michael in Mexico City a top-notch work.
Here’s another interpretation of the same statue of Saint Michael that adorned with filigree decorations. Just like any other religious tattoo, the one with St Michael also can help you to express your faith and religiousness.
It took about five years for Guido Reni to paint his famous Archangel Michael defeating Devil, it took about twenty hours for a tattoo artist to do this impressive tattoo on the shoulder. The vibrancy of colors and contrast are something amazing.
The detail in this St Michael police officer’s medal tattoo on the ankle is just amazing! The placement is smart because the tattoo can be easily hidden in case you are not allowed to have visible tattoos. But the point is, St Michael will always be there to show you the right path and protect you.
This black and gray back tattoo of St Michael’s victory in the fight with the army of hell has what it takes to be called the masterpiece. The way the artist has depicted the fluttering clothes, the sunlight rays and clouds behind Michael, the wide-spread wings and emotions on faces makes this tattoo super dynamic and eye-catching.
This large-scale biblical tattoo on the side depicts Michael triumphantly standing on the devil, carrying the scales of justice and flourishing his sword above the head. The imagery is beautifully complemented by intricate Victorian filigree at the bottom.
As the commander of the Army of God, the spiritual warrior, Michael is most commonly portrayed in knight’s armor with a long cape, a sword and majestic wings. This fantastic smooth black and gray tattoo depicts the archangel in a bit unusual way: as he knelt in a prayer to God.
Apart from the fact that this tattoo of St Michael shows the impressive attention to details, it is exceptionally precise and super clean. All the elements interact with each other in the best way to tell the story about the glorious victory of Michael.
St Michael is shown here as the righteous warrior trampling the head of Satan. That accentuates the supremacy of the good over the evil. The way his wings fade away in clouds is a very smart move to fit in such a huge tattoo on the back. The tattoo master totally hit the different textures especially metal texture in St Michael’s armor.
One of Bernini angel statues and the statue of St Michael fighting Devil create the composition of this overwhelmingly beautiful black and gray sleeve. Here are some areas with really rich deep black which sets the whole tattoo off and then this smooth shading which creates depth and dimension.
Not only that Michael protects people, but he also inspires to be brave, strong and courageous just like him, especially if a person is struggling a serious disease or trying to overcome difficulties in life.
One more cool tattoo of St Michael copying the Guido Reni’s painting in grayscale yet with some tattoo master’s interpretation since he added the crown with spikes to emphasize the glory of the archangel. It’s amazing how the whole design flows with the shapes of the arm and shoulder.
If you don’t want a large-scale tattoo, this small yet highly detailed tattoo of Saint Michael with a shield and a sword is an option. Inspired by a well-known statue of the archangel that stands on the top of the cathedral in Mexico City, this tattoo defends its wearer from all the evil.
St Michael imagery is by far the most popular choice among those who seek for protection and guidance. You definitely won’t miss the mark if you opt for black and gray ink. Nice smooth values and the use of negative space of skin just cannot lead to a bad result.
The perfect line work is what has grabbed our attention right when we saw this awesome tattoo of Saint Michael fighting with the snake. Nice choice if you want to ward off all the evil and get the protection of the archangel.
The beauty of black and realistic gray tattoos hides in little details like these white highlights on the chains and on the spear which St Michael holds. The rich blacks contrast with super light spots and give this tattoo what it needs to be called the beSt
We love the soft light gray values of this amazingly beautiful tattoo depicting the scene where St Michael pierces Satan with a spear. Though one of the angel’s wings still need one more session, the tattoo already looks stunning!