Albus Dumbledore's Portrait

The Portrait of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, hanging in Hogwarts school

This portrait of Albus Dumbledore is an enchanted painting that hangs in the Headmaster's office at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It has retained some of Dumbledore's mannerisms and is capable of answering questions and giving advice.


Following his appointment as Headmaster of Hogwarts, a portrait of Albus Dumbledore was painted and placed in the Headmaster portraits' cupboard where the good Professor would visit it on occasions and teach it to talk and behave like himself. Following his untimely demise on , however, the portrait was found hanging behind the chair of the Headmaster's desk, with its occupant peacefully asleep.[1] It is not a completely accurate copy of Dumbledore, however, only what Hogwarts knew of him over the years.

During Severus Snape's tenure as Headmaster, the portrait helped and advised the formerly and presumed now again Death Eater, appointed Headmaster, in aiding Harry Potter and his friends destroy Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes. This included, but was not limited to telling Snape that he must give Godric Gryffindor's Sword, which was at the time concealed in a cavity behind the portrait, to Harry, though he did not tell him why.[2]

After the death of the Dark Lord and the defeat and scattering of his forces, Harry Potter and his friends made their way to the Headmaster's office, and received tumultuous applause from the other Headmasters. Here, Harry had a brief discussion with the portrait about his plans for the Elder Wand, and his decision to leave the Resurrection Stone lost, which Dumbledore's portrait approved of.[3]

As Severus Snape's portrait was later hung, it can be assumed that Dumbledore's portrait was later moved down the line to make way for Snape's portrait to hang behind the desk.

Behind the scenes


Dumbledore's portrait as seen in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

  • The virtual tour of the Headmaster's office in Disc 2 of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets reveals two portraits of Dumbledore (as portrayed by Richard Harris) hanging in the office, one hanging on the wall among the other portraits, and another in the sitting room behind the desk. As Dumbledore was still alive at the time of the events of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, this contradicts author J. K. Rowling's statement that the portraits in the Headmaster's Office only depict deceased individuals. However, it can be assumed that neither of these portraits of Dumbledore are the "official" portrait, which was added after Dumbledore's death, and that they are in the office purely as decorations (perhaps as a way of symbolising Dumbledore's occupation of the office).


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 29 (The Phoenix Lament)
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)

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