The artist began by executing outdoor drawings. The sketches in oil on canvas enabled him afterward to experiment with color, balance and mood before a full-scale sketch which preceded the ultimate painting. The gradual observation of his own sketches superseded his sensorial memory of the original scenery.
On January 29 in New York, Sotheby's sells an oil on canvas 46 x 61 cm which was an important step in the composition of the view of Salisbury. It is estimated $ 2M, lot 96.
In a sale at Christie's in 2013, this artwork remained unnoticed except, fortunately, by its winning bidder. It was tarnished by a coating that its owner withdrew, revealing the beautiful sky of an extreme thunderstorm with sunshine illuminating the cathedral.
The achieved version will retain the threatening clouds, now with a rainbow announcing the end of the storm. In a lesser contrast of light than our sketch, it is one of the most successful atmosphere effects in the English countryside by the best specialist in the subject, at the time of romanticism.