"Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" sold at Christie's Tuesday evening to an unidentified telephone bidder. It had been estimated at $70 million to $90 million.
The striking work of Marie-Therese Walker has been exhibited in the United States only once, in 1961 in Los Angeles, to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Picasso's birth.
The painting had belonged to the late California art patron Frances Lasker Brody, who purchased it in the 1950s. Part of the sale proceeds will benefit the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif., where she been on the board.
The previous record for a work of art at auction was $104.3 million for a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti on Feb. 3.