Other law-themed artworks

  • Public Hall, above ramp from Level 1 to Level 2
  • born 1942
  • Sir Garfield Barwick, Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia 1964–81
  • 1981
  • oil on canvas
  • Gift of the artist 2010; collection of the High Court of Australia

This portrait of the Rt Hon Sir Garfield Edward John Barwick AK, GCMG, QC is one of two portraits of Sir Garfield hanging in the Court building in Canberra. The other, by Brian Dunlop, is in Court 3.

The Rt Hon Garfield Barwick (1903–97) was Chief Justice of Australia from 27 April 1964 to 11 February 1981 – the longest serving Chief Justice of Australia. He took an active interest in the design and construction of the High Court building that opened in Canberra in 1980. He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1964. Garfield Barwick graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts and won the university medal in law. In 1927 he was admitted to the NSW Bar. He was appointed a King's Counsel (KC) in 1941, a Knight Bachelor (Kt) in 1953, a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in 1965, and in June 1981 a Knight of the Order of Australia (AK).

Garfield Barwick pursued and attained leadership positions such as President of the Bar Association (1950–52 and 1955–56), President of the Law Council of Australia (1952–54), and first President of the Australian Conservation Foundation (1966). He also served in Federal Parliament. During his terms as a Member of the House of Representatives (1958–64), he served as Attorney-General (1958–61), and Minister for External Affairs (1961–64). He was a Judge ad hoc of the International Court of Justice (1973–74).

About the artist

  • Ted Markstein lives and works in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, where he paints and runs a computer business. He studied art in Italy for a year and paints what interests him. His portraits are usually inspired by issues surrounding the sitter and there is often some controversy embedded in his work. The composition of his portrait of Sir Garfield Barwick is loosely based on a portrait of an Italian gentleman by the 16th century Venetian artist Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), and the likeness of Sir Garfield Barwick is taken from a small black and white photo of him that Markstein cut out of the Sydney Morning Herald. The portrait was hung as a finalist in the 1981 Archibald Prize and was donated by the artist to the High Court in 2010.