The Hawker's Cart, a 1929 work by LS Lowry, achieved £555,000 at a Lyon and Turnbull auction in Scotland on Thursday.
It is hoped the sale will enable its consignor, the Royal Scottish Academy, to buy important works by Scottish artists.
"It may take some time but we can now make a start," said academy secretary Arthur Watson.
"Our decision to sell the painting in Scotland has been fully justified."
The painting far exceeded its £500,000 high side estimate at an auction that also included James McIntosh Patrick's The Jetty, Loch Leven, which made £10,000, and Robert Gemmell Hutchison's Idle Moments, which brought home £15,000.
Lowry is hugely popular with British art collectors and alternative investors, due to the evocative scenes of daily northern life in the last century depicted in his works.
Manchester-born Lowry concentrated on towns in Lancashire and Yorkshire for the majority of his pieces, although he sometimes strayed north to Scotland for inspiration.
The auction follows last week's sale of Lowry's 1949 The Football Match. It achieved £5.6m at Christie's in London, setting a world auction record for the artist.
In 2006, Lowry's Glasgow Docks made £530,000 while his Barges on a Canal achieved £88,000 in 2009.
Lowry's Lancashire Fair: Good Friday, Daisy Nook is currently on display at London's Whitechapel Gallery as part of a rare glimpse of the British government's art collection.
Bought at auction for £3.8m in 2007, it usually hangs at 10 Downing Street, the traditional home of the prime minister.
The work was put forward by Samantha Cameron, wife of current prime minister David.
Those looking for works by famous artists at more moderate prices may be surprised at what they can find on the private market.