John Fairfax appears to have been an 18th century Norfolk farmer and married Mary Hayward of Brockford, Suffolk. He is dressed in the fashionable attire of a formal tight fitting gown or banyan with frogging fastenings which was in vogue from the early 1730’s. These were often worn to receive visitors during the mornings and reflected the wealth and status of the wearer often being accompanied by a cap or turban as in this case.
Heins was a German artist who settled in Norwich in the early 1720’s where he was commissioned to paint many civic portraits. This portrait of John Fairfax follows his manner and was probably executed by a painter working locally under his influence.