This cupboard was located somewhere within Hogwarts Castle, presumably in the headmaster's office. A portrait of the current head of the school of was kept within this cupboard after its traditional commission by the headmaster or headmistress in question. Only the current headmaster had access to this cupboard, and many visited it regularly to teach their portrait to behave exactly like themselves, as well as to pass on bits of knowledge they deemed useful to their eventual successors. If they die in office, their portrait is moved from this cupboard to join the other portraits in the headmaster's office.[1]

It is unknown what happens to the portraits of Headmistresses and Headmasters who choose to retire or otherwise abandons the position, although it can be assumed that they would either get a place elsewhere in the castle to commemorate their service to Hogwarts, or that the Professor in question takes them with them upon their departure and have to find a place for it elsewhere.[2]


Notes and references

  1. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Hogwarts Portraits" at Pottermore
  2. Some have been asking why hasn’t the portrait appeared immediately. It doesn’t. The reason is that the perception in the castle itself and everyone who was in the castle, because Snape kept his secret so well was that he abandoned his post. So all the portraits you see in the headmaster’s study are all headmasters and mistresses who died, it’s like British royals. You only get good press if you die in office. Abdication is not acceptable. - J.K. Rowling - Interview with the Leaky Cauldron website.