Madonna's French painting sells for $7.2 million at auction in NYC

Madonna launches her signature fragrance, "Truth or Dare" by Madonna, at Macy's Herald Square on April 12, 2012, in New York. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

A French painting owned by Madonna has sold at a New York City auction for more than $7 million.

Proceeds of the sale will benefit the Ray of Light Foundation, which supports girls' education in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries.

Sotheby's auction house hasn't said who bought Fernand Leger's "Three Women at the Red Table" for $7.2 million on Tuesday (Madonna posted a photo of herself standing next to the painting on Instagram -- see it here). The abstract work had a pre-sale estimate of $5 million to $7 million.

In a statement, the pop star said she wanted to "trade something valuable for something invaluable" in countries where female education is rare or nonexistent.

"I cannot accept a world where women or girls are wounded, shot or killed for either going to school or teaching in girls' schools," she added. "We don't have time to be complacent...Knowledge is power. Let's change the world!"

Leger created the work in 1921 as part of a series depicting women with still-life compositions. Madonna bought the work at Sotheby's in 1990 for $3.4 million.