John Martin spent much time sketching in the environs of London. His favourite spot was Richmond and he is still commemorated by 'John Martin's Oak', which stands on the terrace south of Pembroke Lodge.
Many of Martin's watercolours were executed on his travels around London and the home counties with a view to improving the Capital's water supply. He was also involved in the plans for the docks, sewers and embanking on the Thames. During the late 1830s and 1840s Martin painted a series of long narrow watercolour views of Richmond. Between 1844 and 1852 Martin exhibited eight pictures of views of Richmond at the Royal Academy and it is tempting to associate our picture with Martin's 1847 exhibit, no. 950, View in Richmond Park.