Saloman van Ruysdael's "Skaters on the Frozen River Lek, the Town of Vianen Beyond" led the first part of Christie's Old Masters sale in New York with a final bid of $1.4m.
The work is believed to have been painted around 1600-1603 and depicts ice skating, a common sight in the Netherlands during the winter.
Ruysdael travelled extensively throughout Europe, but always returned to familiar subject matter. The present lot shows Vianen, a town dominated by Batestein Castle - which was built during the 14th century.
He is the brother of Jacob van Ruysdael, whose work is generally considered superior.
Jean Antoine Theodore Giroust's Mademoiselle D'Orleans Taking a Harp Lesson also made $1.4m at the January 28 auction.
It shows the daughter of the Duc d'Orleans receiving a lesson from her governess, Madame de Genlis, and was probably painted around 1791 - two years into the French Revolution.
De Genlis' abilities as a teacher led her to become a powerful court figure, causing jealousy among her peers.
Her skill on the harp was derided by her arch rival Baronne d'Oberkirch: "An immensely ridiculous feature of this unfeminine woman is her harp. She carries it about everywhere, talks about it when she is without it, she with strum on a crust of bread and goes at it with a string."
The sale took place as part of New York's Old Masters Week.
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