Boris Grigoriev's Les Enfants was the clear winner with investors at Christie's New York Russian Art sale on Wednesday, realising $1.3m, well over the pre-sale estimate of $800,000.
The oil on canvas portrays 12-year-old twins Katherine and Mary Cane, the daughters of New York 1920s art scenesters Florence and Melville Cane.
The seminal work demonstrates the influence of icon painting, cubism and Cézanne on Grigoriev.
New world auction records were also established at the auction for prominent artists including Aleksei Korzukhin, whose artwork Peasant Girls in the Forest made $266,500, and Mark Antokolskii, whose Peter I bronze achieved $254,500.
Izabela Grocholski, the head of Russian art at Christie's America, commented: "The results of the sale clearly indicate that the market for Russian art is strong and deep, with an international clientele in search of high quality works."
The sale garnered $5.2m in all, with 72% of lots selling.