Long before the Joker ruled Gotham or Pennywise terrified the kids in Derry, Maine, the Jesters were the dominant performers in the court scene. Jesters were performers of nobles and monarchs in medieval and Renaissance times. They were known to wear brightly colored clothing during performances and frequently wore a hat known as a cap and bells. These hats often featured donkey ears and tails, which resembled donkeys. They were also often adorned with bells and decorated with a motley print. Motley has become synonymous with jesters, fools and harlequins, often featuring a pattern of multi-colored diamonds.
Jesters of these eras often performed different skills, which varied greatly depending on the performer. Some jesters were storytellers, pranksters or musicians. While others specialized in acrobatics, juggling and magic.
Throughout history, jesters have often been depicted in literature. One of the most prominent examples is found in “King Lear” by William Shakespeare. The Shakespearean Fool was a recurring character throughout his works, appearing in “The Comedy of Mistakes”, “Much Ado About Nothing”, “Twelfth Night”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “As You Like It. “.
In honor of all the jesters of the past, present and future, take a look at 60 of our favorite jester tattoos done by talented tattoo artists around the world. So let us know if you would get any of these tattoos in the comments section on social media.