The custom of getting tattooed is an ancient tradition which is rooted in ancient Egypt and spread to the Roman Empire, where slaves and convicted men were marked. The emperor Constantine in 325 forbid tattoos on people’s face while in 787 Pope Adriano I banned any sort of marking on the body, made perfect as it is by God.

The art of tattoo did not disappear completely yet these reforms affected its popularity and confined them to the lower social classes. In 1876 in Italy the criminologist Cesare Lombroso identified the tattoo as one of the signs of moral degradation so that language used by sailors too was, for this elite, an evident symbolisation of criminality.

Some English speaking artists though started their career as tattoo artists already by the end of the 1800’s: from there on, the trend propagatedĀ  all over the world. In Italy as well as in other Latin countries there was a delay which saw its maximum explosion during the 70’s and 80’s of the 20th century. Today the practice of getting art on someone’s skin is (almost) entirely free from prejudice over the social role of its owner.

Below there is a collection of pictures representing the very first women getting inked in modern times, between the 1800’s and 1900’s. These women, with their bald attitude andĀ  tattooed bodies affirmed their right of deciding how to style their own persona without external impositions. This was an extremely ground breaking action tor the time, let alone for women.

Below: Maud Waugner, the first American tattoo artist

Below: Victoria tattoo#2

Below: Victoria tattoo#3

Below: Victoria tattoo#4

Below: Victoria tattoo#5

Below: Victoria tattoo#6

Below: Victoria tattoo#7

Below: Victoria tattoo#8

Below: Victoria tattoo#9

Below: Victoria tattoo#10

Below: Victoria tattoo#11

Below: Victoria tattoo#12

Below: Victoria tattoo#13

Below: Victoria tattoo#14

Below: Victoria tattoo#15

Below: Victoria tattoo#16

Below: Victoria tattoo#17

Below: Victoria tattoo#18

Below: Victoria tattoo#19

Below: Victoria tattoo#20

Below: Victoria tattoo#21

Below: Victoria tattoo#22

Below: Victoria tattoo#23

Below: Victoria tattoo#24

Below: Victoria tattoo#25

Below: Victoria tattoo#26

Below: Victoria tattoo#27

Below: Victoria tattoo#28

Below: Victoria tattoo#29

Below: Victoria tattoo#30

Below: Victoria tattoo#31

Below: Victoria tattoo#32

Below: Victoria tattoo#33

Below: Victoria tattoo#34

Below: Victoria tattoo#35

Below: Victoria tattoo#36

Below: Victoria tattoo#37

Below: Victoria tattoo#38

Below: Victoria tattoo#39

Avatar
Matteo Rubboli

I am a publisher specialised in the digital distribution of culture and founder of the portal Vanilla Magazine. I don't wear a tie or branded clothes, I keep my hair short so I don't have to comb it. That's not my fault but just the way I've been drawn as...

Vanilla Magazine - History, Culture, Mistery and Legends