You see cherubs a lot around Valentine’s Day, but they’re not just a symbol of love. In Abrahamic religions and mythology, cherubs are the celestial attendants of God and serve the supreme deity’s will in heaven and on Earth. That’s why you’ll find the angelic beings mentioned in centuries-old texts and floating in the background of some of the most famous artworks.
As is the case with plenty of other ancient symbols, images of cherubs are a favorite design among ink lovers. “Cherub tattoos have definitely made a comeback,” says artist Jaz Paulino of High Hopes Tattoo in New York. “They can be drawn to fit anyone and are just so darn cute.” She says some clients ask for cherubs to commemorate a lost loved one, and, for others, the little angels are a way to shout out their culture or religion. Whatever the reason, a cherub serves as an ideal subject “for a really fun and significant tattoo,” according to Paulino.
Paulino says cherubs are meant to roam free, so in that spirit, the placement options for this kind of tat are truly limitless — opt for one on your forearm, on your ribcage, go for a back tat... wherever your heart desires. If you’re in the market for some ink inspiration, look to these 12 totally dreamy cherub tattoo designs below.