Anatomical Heart Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Anatomical Heart Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

A definite attention-getter in the skin art world may be found with Anatomical heart tattoos. They take the rich symbolism which we associate with the heart, add a little science, and the results are certainly striking. What do these tattoos mean, though?

In this article we’re going to answer that by giving you a little history on the subject, along with the unique symbolism behind a heart rendered down to its actual parts, and we’ll even talk about placement. Let’s look at what’s Anatomical heart tattoos so you can see if one might be a good fit for you!  


What is the History of Anatomical heart Tattoos?

As early as the 4th century B.C., the renowned philosopher Aristotle had identified the heart as being the most important part of the body, and it’s a subject that has been a fascination for many ever since. Leonardo Da Vinci was so captivated with it that he sketched the heart frequently for a period of 12 years!

Needless to say, when inspiration on a subject is present, that naturally comes across in art of all forms, and skin art is certainly no exception. While we can’t pinpoint the exact moment in history when the first Anatomical heart tattoo appeared, they have certainly been around, and have become much more popular in the modern day.

It makes sense when you think about it… after all, the heart is traditionally the most romanticized organ and it makes sense that as our understanding of the heart and its actual function grows, that our mental image of it would in turn, and thus new lore would be added to what is arguably some of the oldest symbolism around.

What Do Anatomical heart Tattoos Symbolize?

Anatomical heart tattoos symbolize a mix with love and logic –a pair that doesn’t traditionally spend a whole lot of time together. When you take a symbol as close to us as the heart and break it down to its components like that, then it’s basically a pairing of the heart and the mind.

That’s not the only possible symbolism, however, as a lot is going to depend on the depiction. Inked a certain way, it could take the love out of the equation altogether, as if to say ‘you don’t hold my heart, otherwise I wouldn’t be alive – it’s just an organ.”

Symbolism is all about context and so an Anatomical heart tattoo can really come across a lot of different ways. It can symbolize that the best love is love with mental stimulation or might even imply that the heart of the owner has a very scientific mind.

It all depends on how it’s done and what’s around it, when you really get down to it!


What Do Anatomical heart Tattoos Mean?

To give you an idea of the importance of context, a few Anatomical heart tattoos examples might be the best tact to take. For instance, if you saw an Anatomical heart tattoo with the word ‘reality’ underneath it, then it obviously means that the owner is skeptical about someone ‘holding their heart’.

On the flipside, artfully arranged with flowers or other symbols that go with the traditional meaning of a heart, the art could be there to say that the owner’s heart is a complicated thing and not to be easily won unless the suitor is really something special.

Now visualize an Anatomical heart that has the parts of the heart labelled, like a medical diagram – now the ‘heart is love’ aspects that would normally be associated are no longer part of the meaning, because it’s been turned completely into the science.

Seeing a tattoo done in this way might indicate that the owner actually has medical training or simply a fascination with the body and how it actually works. Meaning has malleability to it, so if you take some time with your design, you’ll likely find that what you can say with your tattoo is much more than you expected!


Where Do Anatomical heart Tattoos Usually Go?

The most common place for Anatomical heart tattoos is not very surprising – it’s over the owner’s actual heart. That doesn’t mean that yours has to be, of course, and other popular placements include the forearm, upper arm, and even the ankle.

Placed on the hip, it can even add a sort of intimacy, and serve as a message to suitors that the person who wants to win the heart should expect that they’ll have to win the mind as well.

Finally, Anatomical heart backpieces are a bit more rare, but they have definitely been done – all that extra skin makes for some serious detail. It all boils down to what you want to say and how public you would like your message to be – just a little something to think about while you’re deciding on your design.


Characteristics and Styles of Anatomical heart Tattoos

A rendering of the heart with the kind of detail an anatomical design gives you just begs to be colored, and many people will do so, but black and white Anatomical hearts are also quite popular. Not only do they give a chance to magnify detail, but the stark rendering also ramps up the ‘scientific’ feel of the skin art.

What accompanies the heart will also be important to the meaning, as a ‘diagram’ type heart on its own feels a little clinical, especially when you consider what it might look like next to flowers or chocolates. The style that you choose will also make an enormous difference.

Stark black and white renderings in thin, precise lines say one thing, while an exaggerated cartoon rendering in New School style can say the same thing with an enormous smile.

You might even go with Japanese style, rendering the heart the way it was shown in the 18th century Japanese Kaishi Hen – a famous ‘anatomical atlas’ from Japanese history. Sufficed to say, you’ve definitely got options with an Anatomical heart tattoo and it’s worth taking the time to see what various styles bring to the table!

In conclusion: It’s not your everyday heart now, is it?

If you are looking for a way to turn traditional symbolism on its head or to express it in a much more ‘concise’ and scientific fashion, then an Anatomical heart tattoo might be just what the doctor ordered (sorry, we couldn’t resist!).

The heart is one of the most popular symbols in the world, after all, so why modernize it and remind the world that there is also a sharp mind behind it? The possibilities are only limited by the imagination!

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