When mine eyes shall close in death

The “rock of ages” has been a mainstay in the tattoo world for some time now but do people really know what it is?

In tattoos the rock of ages is most commonly depicted as a woman clinging to a stone cross jutting out of an angry sea. Sometimes the wreckage of a boat is seen in the back ground. This is of course based on many paintings with similar subject matter.

The ravenous sea represents sin and its’ potential to drown and kill us. The stone cross represents Christ as the “rock”, it being the only thing to stand firm in this world when everything else falls away.

It is widely agreed that Johannes Oertel was the first to paint such a representation. His painting is titled none other than “Rock Of Ages”. Unfortunately it is very hard to find a good picture of it, but if you are ever in Lenoir NC the original is there at St James Episcipal Church. Like many great things in art throughout history, His idea was placated by many people. Now there are hordes of different representations out there. Don Ed Hardy published an amazing little book titled “rock of ages” which is filled with traditional versions as well as tattoo flash versions.  Here are some classic rock of ages i found searching the ole’ world wide web.

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2 Responses to “When mine eyes shall close in death”

  1. Are you going to add a few more of these? I’m looking for a Victorian painting on this theme but I do not know the artists name so it’s impossible to find it.

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