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Portrait
Object information
Manufacturer

Various

Made

Various

Usage
  • Depict individuals
  • Guard passageways
  • Communicate
Owners

Various

Portraits are paintings made of certain individuals, namely witches and warlocks.[1]

The subject of a magical portrait is sentient due to enchantments placed on the portrait by the painter.[2] The portrait will be able to use some of the subject's favourite phrases and imitate their general demeanour based on how the subject appears to the painter; however, they are limited in what they can say or do.[2]

A portrait can also move from portrait to portrait, or else visit a portrait of them elsewhere in the world.[3]

Bimp, Oliver Cartwright, John Homme, Luxo Karuzos, Pablo Picasso and Leonardo Da Vinci were all expert painters. Magenta Comstock was an experimental painter whose subjects' eyes followed their viewers home.[4]

Depiction

A witch or wizard can go to a wizarding painter to have themselves painted.[2] This is usually done so that the portraitist can enchant the portait to have some characteristics of the subject.[2]

Portrait person

A portrait knows little if anything of its subject's life, and therefore could not hold a very interesting conversation about its subject.[2] The exception to this is of the portraits of Hogwarts headmasters, which are kept in a cupboard from the time of their painting, which is usually very old,[1] until the subject dies.[2] The headmaster can therefore teach their portrait to act and speak like them so that they can teach their successors.[2]

The person depicted in a portrait can therefore live indefinitely,[5] although a portrait does have reason to fear for their life or well-being.[6]

Magical photographs

A witch or wizard may also produce a magical photograph, photographs that have been put through a special potion. These, however, are simply animated images; the subject of the photograph has no sentience whatsoever, and is a mere recording of an already happened event, occurring in a continuous loop.[7]

Known portraits

Portrait Known locations Notes
Albus Dumbledore During Severus Snape's time as Headmaster the painting hid the Sword of Gryffindor, to keep it safe from Lord Voldemort.
Ambrose Swott
Anne Boleyn
Ariana Dumbledore In 1997–1998 school year, her portrait concealed a secret passage to the Room of Requirement.
Armando Dippet
Barnabas the Barmy
Professor Basil Fronsac Secret passages:

1995–1996 school year



1996–1997 school year

Bloody Baron Slytherin House Ghost
Brian Gagwilde III
Brutus Scrimgeour Concealed a secret passage between the Trophy Room and the 4th floor.
Circe Concealed a secret passage between the Grand Staircase and the Entrance Hall side room.
Damara Dodderidge 1995 to 1997* Her portrait concealed a secret passage from the Grand Staircase to the Clock Tower.
Daryle Unknown
Dexter Fortescue
Dilys Derwent
Edgar Stroulger Guards a secret passage in 1993
Elfrida Cragg
Elizabeth Burke 1991 to 1995*Grand Staircase1995 to 1996*Entrance Dungeon*Near the entrance to the Potions Classroom*The 7th floor corridor 1995 to 1996 her portrait concealed 2 secret passageways:



1997

Emeric Switch
Edessa Sakndenberg
Everard
Fat Friar Hufflepuff House Ghost
Fat Lady
George von Rheticus 1995–1996 school year



1996–1997 school year

Secret passages:

1995–1996 school year



1996–1997 school year

Giffard Abbott 1995 to 1997 guarded 2 short-cuts:
Gilderoy Lockhart Only during the 1992–1993 school year
Glanmore Peakes Concealed a secret passage between the Grand Staircase and the Entrance Hall side room.
Godric Gryffindor Guarded a secret passage between the Grand Staircase and the Entrance Hall side room.One of the founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Google Stump Concealed a secret passage to the 1st floor corridor.
Greta Catchlove Concealed a secret passage between the Grand Staircase and the Entrance Hall side room.
Günther der Gewalttätige ist der Gewinner
  • Unknown
Depicts Gunther the Violent
Helena Ravenclaw Her portrait was non-speaking
Heliotrope Wilkins
Hengist Rawkes
Iris Pivis
Merwyn the Malicious Concealed a secret passage between the Grand Staircase and the Entrance Hall side room.
Mirabella Plunkett Concealed a secret passage between the Grand Staircase and the Entrance Hall side room.
Newton Scamander
Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington
Norvel Twonk Concealed a secret passage between the Grand Staircase and the Entrance Hall side room.
Oraclitus Spheer
Percival Pratt 1995–1996 school year
Phineas Nigellus Black
People watching Quidditch
Professor Walter Aragon
Quentin Trimble
Salazar Slytherin Concealed a secret passage between the Dungeons antechamber and the Entrance Hall side room.[8]One of the founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Sedley Smirkpaltter
Severus Snape
Sir Cadogan In 1993, he was temporarily the guard to the Gryffindor Tower while the Fat Lady's portrait was being repaired.
Timothy the Timid 1995–1996 school year



1996–1997 school year

Secret Passages:

1995–1996 school year



1996–1997 school year

  • Between the Grand Staircase and the Quidditch Gate
  • Between the Quidditch Gate and the Portrait Room
Tobias Manlethorpe
Temeritus Shanks 1992–1993 school year



1995–1996 school year

Secret passages:

1995–1996 school year



1996–1997 school year

Unidentified red-haired witch Grand Staircase
Valeria Myriadd 1991–1992 school year



1992–1993 school year

Secret passage between the Gryffindor Tower to a Disused seventh floor bathroom
Vindictus Viridian Concealed the entrance to the Room of Rewards.
Violet Is friends with the Fat Lady.
Vulpus
Walburga Black Magically fixed to the wall with a Permanent Sticking Charm.
Woman in the hospital wing

Behind the scenes

  • In the LEGO Harry Potter games, portraits are shown to be far more interactive than in any other media, with objects able to move from the portrait out to the real world and vice versa. Many puzzles in both games revolve around getting a portrait to give you a necessary object, or bringing a real world object into the portrait to assist its occupants.
  • J. K. Rowling once claimed in an interview that all of the portraits seen at Hogwarts depict deceased individuals.[9] This is not strictly true, however; Gilderoy Lockhart owned several portraits of himself which he hung in his classroom and office.

Appearances

Notes and references

Wiki
The Harry Potter Wiki has 245 images related to Portraits.
  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter Limited Edition
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 New from J. K. Rowling - Hogwarts Portraits
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
  4. Wizard of the Month
  5. As Phineas Nigellus lived for at least seventy-three years after his portrait was painted, seemingly without aging or dying.
  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapter 7 (Mudbloods and Murmurs)
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) - PC version
  9. Edinburgh Book Festival, Sunday 15th August 2004

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