Born in Liverpool around 1720, Richard Wright is thought to have started as a house and ship painter. He exhibited at the Society of Artists between 1762 and 1773, winning premiums for his seapieces in 1766 and 1768. Wright executed the background of Reynolds' Duchess of Ancaster, which was exhibited in 1764 (D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings, New Haven and London, 2000, p. 86, no. 165, fig. 743). He was a near contemporary and neighbour of the Liverpool artists William Caddick and George Stubbs, and resumed his friendhip with the latter when Wright moved to London, by 1762.
This river landscape may well be one of the pictures, catalogued as A moon-light, that Wright exhibited at the Society of Artists each year from 1770 until his last appearance in 1773. From 1767 onwards his address is recorded as 'Near King's Road, Pimlico', which accords with the artist's inscription on the reverse of the present panel.