Symbolises wisdom, war and peace.
Athena was an Olympian goddess who was visited by many other deities for help and advice. She had a graceful aura of authority, with a beautiful stern face, big lips and grey eyes.
As she represented both war and peace, she is depicted in two different extremes. 1) dressed in a regal chiton with a spindle and 2) in full armour holding a long spear and aegis with an elaborate helmet. Athena’s aegis or sheild has an image of Medusa’s head in the middle; this was a gift she received from Perseus. Sometimes Athena is also pictured with an owl, snake and olive branch, all of which symbolise her traits.
Athena tattoos, like Poseidon tattoos are very popular. However what’s great about Athena tattoos is her breadth of symbolism- from war to peace to wisdom- lends itself to creativity in her depiction. In other words, you can get highly creative and unique with your Athena tattoos and tattoo sleeve. To demonstrate the scope of how she’s represented, we have created an extensive collection of the best Athena tattoos out there. Scroll through and take note of the styles and elements you like to give you tattoo artist a good idea of what you are after.
This is a beautiful Athena tattoo done purely in black ink and includes all the classic Athena symbolism, including the owl right at the top. It’s positioned on the inner arm sleeve which has a smooth uninterrupted surface making it perfect for a large style tattoo. The shadow detail on this tattoo is exceptional and arguably what makes it such an amazing piece of work. It’s interesting to see the tattoo artist’s impression of the picture that was provided by the client, I think he’s done a s. Ask your tattoo artist if he or she has created tattoos from pictures and ask to see the before and after shots, this will give you a good gauge on the results of your tattoo should you provide an image to base it off. This traditional Greek mythology tattoo sleeve is classic with a gothic edge, and it would definitely be something I’d be proud to wear on my sleeve for the rest of my life.
This is another example of a traditional Athena Greek mythology tattoo sleeve, however this one depicts more nature with the surrounding leaves. As you can see, unlike the previous example, this tattoo is positioned on the outer side of the arm using the smoothness of the space to create this beautiful continuous masterpiece. What I love about this tattoo is the shadow work and the detailing, especially on the owl, which is positioned prominently on the forearm- an area which is most exposed.
I love this traditional Athena tattoo sleeve, which is part of a gladiator sleeve. The tattoo has come from a photo which is sadly uncredited. The tattoo artist has captured the solemn expression of Athena so well, head resting on hand, looking over the city. The tattoo shows her war scars, vulnerability and humility as a Goddess. This tattoo sleeve idea is a powerful representation for anyone who has been though a challenge or tragedy, come through the other end with a few battle wounds, yet stronger and a load of wisdom.
This beautiful Athena black tattoo sleeve is based on a photo from a collection called ‘Rebirth as seen by…’ by Sylvie Malfray featuring model Anasi Pouliot. The tattoo artist has done amazing job at building out the original image by adding traditional elements such as the sword and the Greek writing. What I particularly love about this tattoo is the sword; it travels down the length of the arm, giving the illusion that the tattoo is longer than it actually is. This tattoo was completed in only two sessions, which demonstrates the talent of the tattoo artist and not to mention patience of the client.
This is a beautiful portrait of Athena in a neo-traditional style. Neo- traditional tattoo sleeves take a modern twist to the otherwise traditional Greek mythology tattoo sleeves, using bolder lines, shadowing and lush imagery. This Athena tattoo is positioned on the upper arm and a great start to a tattoo sleeve, however it also goods great as a half sleeve tattoo.
This Athena tattoo sleeve is typical of the very talented Justin Hartman. I love the shadow work that enhance the details of Athena’s profile. The flowers along with a comic book feel give the tattoo sleeve warmth and balance, which is different from the typical Greek mythology tattoo sleeve designs. This softer depiction of Athena is a great feminine tattoo versatile enough to suit even the most rugged personality.
This is a traditional Greek mythology representation of Athena, wearing a chiton, decorated helmet and spear in hand. Being traditional, this is a very popular image of Athena and has become a common tattoo. I love the feminine and cartoonist nature; the dainty design would suit someone who is unsure about getting a full tattoo sleeve and looking to start off small. This particular tattoo is position on the upper arm, however it would also suit a smaller space such as the forearm or ribs.
Another beautiful tattoo of Athena that is very feminine. This tattoo shows the calm, peaceful and wise side to Athena that is not commonly represented in tattoos of her. I love the soft lines, shadowing and the gentle appeal of this tattoo. It looks great by itself along the inner forearm with it’s slightly discreet position, but it could also be built out into a beautiful feminine tattoo sleeve.
Now we are getting really traditional! I love 3D statue tattoos and this one of Athena is so amazing that it almost doesn’t look real! The shadowing work on this tattoo sleeve is insanely accurate, giving it the depth to look effortlessly three dimensional. The forearm is a great position for this type of tattoo as it’s most exposed, and if planned well, a full sleeve would look incredible. Due to the eye-catching appeal, 3D tattoos are becoming increasingly popular. If you are thinking of getting one, use a talented and experienced tattoo artist, like the one who did this masterpiece.
This is another example of a three dimensional statue tattoo of Athena. This one is actually the start of a Greek mythology tattoo sleeve. What I love about this particular design is the use of skin within the actual design: Athena is holding a spear that is actually un-tattooed skin. This effect gives the illusion of depth and also light. Keen to see what the finished sleeve looks like!
This statue tattoo of Athena is a little different, it looks to be a rendition of a iron statue. I love the way the tattoo artist has used dark greys to achieve the cast iron appearance as if someone has embossed this onto skin. The tattoo pictured here is on a leg, but it would look great as an upper arm sleeve too, given the smooth surface area.
A modern twist to a traditional Athena statue tattoo. I love the juxtaposition of the statue against the geometric design. This tattoo is also on the inner forearm, giving it a fashionably discreet position. The tattoo looks great by itself, but could also form part of a larger tradition/geometric design and you don’t see many of those! This is a unique style if you are after something a little bit different.
Although this design is still traditional, I love the eeriness it conveys. The pupil-less statue looking through the columns is a powerful image. I love the prominence of the owl eye peering through the bottom of the sleeve, as it draws your eyes there. This tattoo is positioned in the inner forearm, however it would also look good on the upper arm of a full tattoo sleeve.
Athena tattoo sleeves don’t have to follow the traditional norms; I love this non-traditional realism Athena tattoo sleeve. It’s masculine, dark and mysterious and definitely unique. The composition is brilliant, the owl plays the prominent role on the upper arms with Athena blended into the forest, symbolising the interchangeability between the Goddess and the wise Owl. This is great tattoo for anyone with bigger toned arms as a large surface area is needed for the entire image to be seen properly from the side.
This is another dark and mysterious non- conventional Athena tattoo sleeve that I love because of the powerful imagery. The tattoo uses black and grey ink to get the amazing shadow effects. The artist also uses the white tattoo ink to create an impactful contrast against the rest of the tattoo, highlighting the eye of the owl and Athena. The symbolism in this tattoo is the owl resting on Athena’s head, it demonstrates her wisdom.
This is a beautiful realism black and grey tattoo sleeve of Athena. Getting this tattoo right would have required a considerable amount of preplanning. I love the way the tattoo artist has made the eyes the focal point of this tattoo, adding a layer of complexity to the symbolism of the image. My interpretation is each eye representing the opposing traits of Athena- peace, war, wisdom and balance. It’s an impactful tattoo that you just can’t stop looking at to extract meaning. This tattoo is positioned on the outer forearm, but it would suit the upper arm too.
This is a beautifully dark and sad version of an Athena tattoo sleeve. Personally, I think it represents that wisdom that has come from years of war, which could also be a representation of life in general. I love the artists depiction of Athena’s cracking youthful face to reveal an older Athena behind it. It’s also interesting to note that the piece Athena is holding is of an owl’s eye, which represents the wisdom. This tattoo is on a calf, however would look stunning as a tattoo sleeve.
Now we are really moving away from conventional Greek mythology tattoos. This design is old verses new. This modern tattoo sleeve of Athena uses the jaxapositioning of soft, flowing lines of nature- the owl and Athena- against straight geometric lines of modern day life. The tattoo artist has played with shadowing, thick black lines and triangles to create this fantastic design. This is one of my favourite Athena tattoo sleeve designs I’ve ever come across. I’d love to see this build out into a full tattoo sleeve too.
I love this geometric tattoo of Athena’s portrait. The tattoo artist has used primary shapes juxtaposed against the traditional mythological elements- the statue of Athena and the owl. The geometric patterns themselves are opposing too, triangles are positioned next circles, which gives the tattoo a beautiful distinctness and astronomical feel. This is a great representation of a modern-day Greek mythology tattoo.
This is another Athena tattoo sleeve with a modern twist. I love how the tattoo artist has brought together two different traditional designs, one being Athena and two the mandala pattern from India. The blending of the two designs create a motif design that works well alone and as a full tattoo sleeve. The femininity of the mandala creates beautiful softness to the typical warrior image of Athena.
This is a traditional portrait of an Athena tattoo created with an artistic flair. This is style that typically comes out of Korea. I love the rustic sketch and unfinished design, which makes the tattoo look effortless, carefree and spirited. You can see the lines that the tattoo artist used to create the dimensions and balance of the tattoo, and it’s this roughness that makes this tattoo truely unique. Given the fluidity in design, this tattoo could really be suitable for anywhere on the arm.
This is another example of sketch work for a Greek mythology tattoo. I love the full length image of Athena in her traditional dress. The unique element of this tattoo, which most Athena tattoo sleeves don’t show, is the aegis or shield with Medusa’s head on it. This is was an important part of Athena’s story in overcoming evil and becoming wiser. It’s interesting to see how accurately the tattoo artist has resembled the sketch on the sleeve, a sign of a very talented tattoo artist. This tattoo is on the forearm, but would also look great on the outer and inner upper arm.
Building on the sketch work tattoo, this is a stunning Athena tattoo sleeve design with the addition of water colour effects. The vivid red markings enhance impact of the tattoo, giving it a real warrior feel, the red almost looks like blood! Water colour tattoos are hard to do and they take years of practice. If you are opting for a similar design ensure you go to an experienced tattoo artist like the one featured here, as these styles can be messed up easily.
Robson Carvalho is one of my favourite tattoo artists. I love his fun, animated designs that give his tattoos personality, and this Athena tattoo is no different. This dynamic portrayal of Athena shows a playful side to her story dealing with war and peace, with her wise owl in tow- sounds like every Disney movie. I love the use of the colours and the intricate detail around the tattoo to show movement. This is a fun design I would definitely be proud to wear.
From playful to serious, this is a clean sketch of an Athena Greek mythology tattoo sleeve. The tattoo is based on an Andrew Mar sketch that has been developed with colour. The sleeve depicts Athena holding a shield with Medusa’s head with the snakes coming out, ready for war. The tattoo artist has captured the determination and strength of Athena powerfully. This tattoo symbolises facing one’s challenges head on, a great tattoo for someone who’s ready to crush their challenges.
I love this contemporary version of the Athena statue tattoo sleeve. The artist has used the traditional and popular portrait of Athena as the base of the design and added water colours that bleed beautifully around the black and grey tattoo, creating a unique effect. Given the size of the statue and the space required for surrounding water colour, this tattoo is best positioned on the upper arm. If you did want this on the forearm, your tattoo artist would need to proportion each element according to the space.
This unique style looks great as an Athena tattoo sleeve. The tattoo artist has used a blend of sketch work, shadow work and watercolour tattooing to bring this design to life. The colours chosen for this tattoo is what makes it truly distinguishable. The blue is especially striking as it draws you straight to the eyes. You’ll notice that the colours are smartly placed to accentuate and provide balance to the tattoo. This is an amazing tattoo by an amazingly talented artist!
This is a traditional coloured version of the Athena tattoo sleeve design. It’s a classic style of tattooing that holds the vintage flair that will last the test of time. I love the careful detail in the placement of colour, especially the cleverly done blackout tattooing on the upper arm to accentuate the design and the use of shading to create a beautiful, warm and flowy feel.
Now this tattoo would have taken a bit of patience. This is a beautiful dot work tattoo of an Athena tattoo on the side of a calf, that would also look great as a tattoo sleeve. The dot work gives an aztec tribal feel to the tattoo with the red making the entire design pop. The bold lines give the tattoo a satisfying structure against the free freeflowing dot wok. This is a great masculine tattoo idea of Athena, that’s a little something different to the ordinary.
I love this playful Athena tattoo sleeve with a flash tattoo vibe. It’s a classic style that was quite popular back in the day in American tattoo parlours. This tattooing is done with a larger needle and older techniques that are becoming less common these days. I love the bold lines and colours that give this tattoo a strong appeal. It’s simplicity is what makes it so appealing, along with a retro Mexican feel. This one is to be worn with confidence and a smile!
This is an unusual Athena tattoo sleeve design and it looks like a work of art. The style is very typical of Japanese tattoos, the shapes and the colours are similar to koi-fish tattoo designs. I love the fusion of the eastern style with Greek mythology, it’s very unique. The colours used in this tattoo are soft and comical, which gives it a fun vibe. This is definitely a tattoo that will be noticed!
This is a crazy version of an Athena tattoo sleeve. The design has a Spanish influence to it and the tattoo artist has cleverly created an optical illusion with the use of eyes on this design. It ignites intrigue and keeps you looking that little bit longer. I love the use of the black and grey with the pops of yellow ink, it’s daring, bold and compliments the design for a well balanced feel.
This is another amazing Athena tattoo sleeve design by one of Portugal’s most talented artists. Carlos Breakone is renowned for his unique tattoo style, the only way I can think to describe this design is action-cartoon. I love the colours and angles used in this tattoo to give it an action-figure like vibe. The tattoo is positioned on the forearm, but this would also look great on the upper arm too. A full sleeve tattoo in this style would look absolutely insane!
This is a beautiful neo traditional Athena tattoo sleeve. I particularly love colours chosen for this design, the warm and the cold colours create an eye-catching tattoo. The tattoo artist has used colour to played to Athena’s femininity when she’s dressed in armour, it’s very unique. The use of lines in the tattoo work perfectly to define the design. This is a tattoo you’ll definitely want to show off!
I love this modern Athena tattoo sleeve which employee a range of tattooing techniques to craft this beautiful piece. The tattoo uses sketch work, bold lines, geometric shapes, colours and water colour to enhance the different elements of the tattoo. The tattoo artist has beautifully incorporated all the characteristics of Athena- the owl, olive leaves and decorated helmet.
This tattoo sleeve of Athena is electrifying! This is a unique tattoo style called glitch work, replicating a photography glitch. However, glitch work is only one of the many techniques used on this tattoo. The traditional tattoo of Athena’s statue is layered with geometric patterns, water colour, mandala design to the side and a black out band around the bottom of the design. This is an eclectic masterpiece!
This is a beautiful Athena tattoo sleeve by the talented Justin Nordine. Justin is renown for this style of synth-nouveau tattoos. They look like paintings that are juxtaposed against bold elements. This is a feminine tattoo sleeve that represents wisdom and strength, great for any girl or guy who looking to tell their story.
I love this modern Athena tattoo sleeve. Using the traditional Athena statue tattoo, the artist has built around it with olive leaves and a new take on Athena’s helmet. The colours used on the tattoo really pop against the black and grey base. The black out work on the helmet and around Athena’s profile define the design. The creative licence the tattoo artist has taken make for a unique eye-catching tattoo!
This pop-art version of an Athena tattoo sleeve is pretty cool. The tattoo artist has used dot work for the most part, black out and also colour. I love the red, black and grey composition, it ironically gives this modern tattoo a classic feel. This tattoo is on a thigh, however it would look great as an arm tattoo too!
This is yet another unique way that Athena has been represented on a tattoo sleeve. I love the African influence in this tattoo, with designs, colours and shapes creating a new perspective of Athena. Athena’s dress is not her regular chiton, rather this is a traditional African dress, along with the designs on the dress and the shield. However, the artist has kept some traditional elements, such as the decorated helmet, spear and olive leaves. This is a beautiful twist to a Greek mythology tattoo sleeve!
If you are looking for something a little more dainty, this is a great design to consider. This Athena tattoo sleeve is beautifully deconstructed in a geometric design, however still keeping the significant traditional elements. The sculpture tattoo of Athena with her helmet, the owl’s eye underneath and the owl in flight at the top. I love the clean lines and detail in this modern tattoo, which looks great on the forearm and could work on the inner upper arm too!
This is another example of a dainty Athena tattoo sleeve. I love the fine continuous line that is cleverly crafted to unveil Athena with her helmet. This tattoo is simple and beautiful, and therefore will look great anywhere on the body. Given the style of this tattoo, it maybe difficult to continue this as a full sleeve, it would require careful planning. But if you are game, start planning!
I hope this article has given you plenty of inspiration for your Athena tattoo sleeve. As you can see, there are many ways to represent Athena, so get creative! If you would like to share your Greek mythology tattoo sleeve with us, send us an email via the contact page, we’d love to see it!