PORTRAIT Tattoos - Historical Figures, Celebrities and Memorial Tributes
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PORTRAIT Tattoos - Historical Figures, Celebrities and Memorial Tributes

Many people choose to incorporate portraits into their tattoo designs. In this article we explore some of history's most prominent figures that have shaped the globe with their influence and life's work. As well, we explore popular pop culture icons that have shaped our world through films, music and television.

Some of the most popular tattoo ideas are centered around portraits whether it be to honor prominent figures in history, celebrities or even people who have passed on in which their memory is honored through a memorial tribute in a tattoo design. Listed below are examples of some of the finest examples of portrait tattoos.

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In the tattoo featured above, we find actor Will Ferrell as Buddy the Elf from the 2003 American Christmas comedy film that features Will Ferrell (Buddy the Elf) who is raised as an elf in Santa's workshop and North Pole, and discovers his true identity as a human being who then travels to New York to meet his biological father.

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This incredible tattoo features an exquisite version and interpretation of the late Mother Teresa. Born as Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, she lived from August 26th, 1910 through September 5th, 1997 and was well known as a Roman Catholic nun of Albanian ethnicity and Indian citizenship. Her passion was through ministry and she developed and founded the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta India in 1950. Her ministry reached out and advocated for the poor, sick, dying, and orphaned not only throughout India but the world. It was the late Pope John Paul II who beatified her and gave her the title, "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta". At the time of her death, she accrued over 600 missions in a total of 123 countries that also included outreach through Hospices and homes devoted strictly to people afflicted with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. She also created family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools and earned herself the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 among many other awards despite critique against her about her charity work. 

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The late Charles Darwin, born Charles Robert Darwin, lived from February 12th, 1809 until April 19th, 1882. He was an English naturalist and established that all species on this planet have evolved from life that has come from a common ancestry in which this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process known as natural selection. In 1859, he published his book, "On the Origin of Species" that included information and teachings on his research with compelling evidence supporting his theories which led to further to the acknowledgement and development of the inception of "Darwin's Theory".

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The image above features "Bob" Marley, born Robert Nesta Marley on February 6th, 1945 and died May 11th, 1981. Bob Marley was a singer and songwriter of Jamaican music and remains today to be one of the most well known and revered reggae musicians who brought reggae and the Rastafarian movements to a world wide stage and audience. His music was strongly inspired by world and social events affecting people and cultures of that time, and his influence continues to inspire new generations of artists and activists today.

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The tattoo above features the martial art expert and film actor, Bruce Lee who was born as Lee Jun-fan and lived from November 27th, 1940 until July 20th 1973. Among his accomplishments were a martial arts instructor, philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter and founded the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement. 

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The tattoo above features Australian television personality, "The Crocodile Hunter", also known as "Steve" or Stephen Robert Irwin who lived from February 22nd, 1942 until September 4th, 2006. He was best known as a wildlife expert and conservationist who acquired worldwide recognition through his television series, The Crocodile Hunter, which was an international wildlife documentary and continues to air episodes still. Steve and his wife Terri opened and operated Australia Zoo which was founded by Steve's parents 50 miles north of Brisbane. Steve was known by his signature khaki shorts and exuberant personality along with his popular catchphrase, "Crikey!". Steve taught the world about the importance of conservation and worked to preserve endangered species, natural habitat and wildlife through many educational forums.

Want to explore more?

You're invited to explore some of my other tattoo articles such as Flower designs, Star Wars designs, Disney themes and designs, and Superheros.

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Comments (15)

The Bob Marley and Will Farrell tattoos are my favorites. I love your tattoo series. I think I am going get my girlfriends portrait on my chest.

Thanks Chris! I tell you what, if I could, my entire body would be covered. There are so many incredible tattoos now and styles and techniques, they're just addicting!

How many do you have? I have Hot Stuff sleeping on a cloud inscribed Born Lazy! This is on my left upper arm. It is 24 years old.

I only have two and they're small. But I plan to sleeve my right leg with all my animal totems. Maybe I should call it pant legging.

I think that would be awesome. I want one on my back too but I think that might be the worst spot for pain control.

Entertaining Debbie. thanks. Voted.

Thanks Paulose! Chris, a back piece would be pretty cool :)

Wow some very realistic looking tattoos in your article.

Thanks Kimberley :)

The colored ones just look nasty in my opinion for this. I had a funny idea though, get one on your elbow area that when you move your elbow the mouth opens up.

lol, that would be funny!

OMG! Please tell me that someone didn't get Will Ferell's face tattooed on their body!! I would understand Bruce Lee, many others too, and have always wanted one of David Bowie's Aladinsane cover. Great post!

I know, right? Thanks for your comment and vote!

Excellent job, my son-in-law has a tattoo of my daughter on his arm and I love it. Voted!

That sounds beautiful. Thanks Diane!