SLEIPNIR – the role of horses in Viking cultureApril 19, 2022
Often in my tattoos you can find elements, characters, stories related to Norse mythology, it is typical for both me and the clients who contact me starting from these subjects to start drawing many of my projects.
Despite the fascination that these myths have always had on me, over the years I have learned how the importance of these tales has greatly changed from the Viking period to today.
The ancient Scandinavians did not have our way of representing their world and their way of handing down their culture to us is not always clear or univocal.
In this scenario it clearly emerges that today famous subjects such as Thor, Odin, the Gods or their antagonists such as the wolf Fenrir, the giant snake Jǫrmungandr or the Giants did not find the same space that our culture dedicates to them today.
In fact, while it is very difficult to find an archaeological find, a stone, a jewel or a decorated weapon that represents the famous scenes of the Edda that today inspire our fantasies, it is very common to find subjects and stories that are now lost.
For this project Roberto, whom I thank very much, allowed me to try to draw one of these stories.
The epic battle that you can observe on his breastplate between a dragon and a bird is part of a lost tale that we no longer know today and of which we find traces in various objects from different places and years of the Viking era, many are the craftsmen that more than a thousand years ago they did their utmost to get it to us and, the fact that today it is probably impossible to know in detail the history of this epic clash makes it even more fascinating in my eyes, almost like trying to peer into the distance between the mists of time.
Scrolling through you can see more photos of both the tattoo and some finely decorated ivory panels in which this scene was represented by Viking craftsmen.
To create this tattoo I made a custom design for Roberto, I did not copy this scene from an existing find but I made my own version from scratch, in which I strictly followed the rules and grammar of Viking art to be sure of make an “authentic” but at the same time original piece.
I then drew it directly on the client's body, there is no drawing on paper of this work, for pieces of this type it is impossible to make a stencil and harmonize it with the anatomy of the body and it is therefore a tattoo that will be impossible to reproduce faithfully, guaranteeing its owner the originality of the work he wears.
I want to thank Luciano from Children of ash, without whose research and constant efforts it would have been impossible for me to discover the infinite worlds behind Viking art and invite you to take a look at his sensational work. For anyone who wants to learn something about Viking art, you could hardly find someone more competent.