LONDON -- Pablo Picasso's cubist painting "Souvenir du Havre" was auctioned yesterday for $7.6 million -- a world record for any Picasso.

It is the second masterpiece in as many days to sell for a multimillion-dollar price tag.

Sotheby's auction house said the work, which had been expected to fetch at least $6.3 million, was bought by a London gallery on behalf of Swiss art dealer Ernst Beyeler.

A previous Picasso painting -- "Self Portrait: Yo" -- was auctioned for $5.3 million in 1981 at Sotheby's in New York.

Art dealers said the price is further testimony that the art market remains lucrative despite the woes of world financial markets.

Monday, impressionist Edgar Degas' "Les Blanchisseuses," a 19th-century oil painting of French laundrywomen, was sold for $13.7 million via telephone bid to an anonymous buyer through Sotheby's major rival, Christie's of London.

Picasso painted "Souvenir du Havre" in 1912 in memory of a visit he and a friend made to Le Havre, France, earlier in the year.

The picture is built around a group of souvenirs of the trip, including a bottle of rum, a glass, seashells, an anchor, ropes and a bit of fake wood.

"It is one of a group of eight oval canvases which form a decisive turning point in the development of Picasso's cubism," said Sotheby's.