Book review–The Art of Harry Potter, the ultimate fan’s gallery of movie concept art

Review by C.J. Bunce

As with fans of the other big genre franchises, fans of the Harry Potter universe are always looking for what is coming next for their fandom.  While waiting for the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the next best thing is a visual journey into the artwork of the film series via Harper Design’s new 364-page, giant hardcover book, The Art of Harry Potter. A gallery of more than 600 images, The Art of Harry Potter covers the eight movies, all created under the watchful eye of Academy Award-winning production designer Stuart Craig.

This collection is entirely different from any behind the scenes art book we’ve seen, breaking down the films by environments, characters, beasts, artifacts, and the most eye-opening: the graphic art that grounded the films in the real world.  The graphic art includes photographs of book covers, key documents by MinaLima that were seen onscreen, potion bottles, magazines and newspapers, blueprints, maps, heraldry, Quidditch signage, food and beverage containers, posters, and tapestries.  Trying to mock up a Harry Potter room in your house?  This is your sourcebook.  With only eight pages of descriptive text, no in-depth interviews with creators, or the like, and only photo captions to guide you on your journey, consider this volume the ultimate album of the concept artwork that inspired the films.

The most unique section of the book looks into all the artwork that adorned the Hogwarts school and other environments.  These were images that may not have been seen on the screen at all, or images seen only in the corner of a frame flashing by quickly, but all worthy of gallery display.  Don’t expect to find photographs of actors or as-photographed screen images–these images represent the ideas that were developed over the decade between 2001 and 2011 that were then crafted into the final screen costumes, props, stages, and Harry Potter magic.

The book also includes four fold-out pages, featuring a giant rendition of Hogwarts concept art, the entrance hall to Hogwarts, the Horntail from the Triwizard Tournament, a stunning portrait gallery of wizards and witches that adorned the walls of Hogwarts, and blueprints for the Shrieking Shack.

Here are some preview pages from The Art of Harry Potter:

Ideally these images would look superb interspersed into and illustrating the text of a new edition of J.K. Rowling’s novels.

The next must-have book for fans of Harry Potter, The Art of Harry Potter is available now from Harper Design in the U.S. and Titan Books in the UK here at Amazon.

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