Rufino Tamayo's "Troubadour" set a world auction record for Latin American art, fetching $7.2 million.
The 1945 painting, which depicts a musician strumming his guitar as two women watch, was acquired by an anonymous buyer, Christie's spokeswoman Sung-Hee Park said.
The $7.2-million bid on Wednesday easily eclipsed the previous record for a Tamayo painting of $2.59 million and topped Frida Kahlo's "Roots," which sold in May 2006 for $5.6 million.
"Troubadour" was the first of four paintings to be sold by Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., to raise money. Opponents to selling the paintings got an injunction to block the sale in November. But they dropped the case to focus on a court challenge to the former women's school's 2006 decision to go coed.