A digital image of the grey Rhine by German artist Andreas Gursky has been sold to an anonymous bidder for $4.3 million at Christie's New York auction, making it one of the most expensive photographs sold at an auction.

The auction price exceeded the pre-estimated value set in the range $2.5 to $3.5 million. Rhein II, sold at the auction, is the largest of six photographs taken by Gursky in 1999.

The remaining images can be found at New York's Museum of Modern Art and London's Tate Modern.

This is an image which speaks to every man on many different levels. At its most basic, it is an astounding picture of nature, which has been scaled and detailed to take the viewer right into the scene in the way that artists have strived to do throughout history, CBS News quoted Francis Outred, Christie's Head of Post War and Contemporary Art Europe saying.

Rhine II is reportedly one of Gursky's favorite photographs having minimal portrayals without the use of any intrusive features.