Diego Rivera's Portrait of Linda Christian has performed superbly at Christie's two-day Latin American sale, held in New York from November 20-21.
The 1947 depiction of the well-known Mexican-born actress had come to auction with a $350,000 high estimate, but surpassed that figure by 65.3%, selling for $578,500.
Its strong price can be attributed in part to the mystique of the work, with Christie's stating that it was "virtually unknown to the general public and scholars alike", having never been exhibited.
The Mexican artist is best known for his large scale and often controversial wall murals, but is also well-regarded for his portraiture, particularly of women.
Rivera first met Christian in the 1940s and is known to have painted at least two portraits of her, both of which still survive.
Christian was originally painted topless for the work, the translucent top added later at the request of her mother.
Rivera was married to fellow artist Frida Kahlo at the time of the painting, though he conducted frequent love affairs with his models.
It was not the top lot from the strong two days of auctions, however. That accolade went to Fernando Botero's 1999 Horse, which sold for $938,500, just shy of its $1m high estimate.
Virgilio Garza, the head of Christie's Latin American art department, commented: "Building from the excitement of great prices achieved in the Latin American evening sale, we had an energetic day session of Latin American art, demonstrating the strength of the middle market across all categories, ranging from the Spanish Colonial to the contemporary.
"Thirty auction records were achieved over the two days of Latin American sales, which included Arnaldo Roche Rabell, Tomas Sanchez, Olga de Amaral, Carmen Herrera, Ibere Camargo, and Oscar Munoz."
The sales achieved $17.7m in total.