STOCKBRIDGE - The painting shows an older man, bespectacled, holding a newspaper behind the open curtain of an old-fashioned voting booth. On the newspaper are images of Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey. The man has a puzzled look on his face, contemplating the choice before him. The scene is depicted in the Norman Rockwell painting, "Which One? (Undecided; Man in Voting Booth)." The painting, which belonged to the estate of horse racing executive Ogden Mills Phipps, was sold for $6.5 million by Sotheby's Auctioneers in New York City. The price beat the high pre-sale estimate of $6 million. Phipps acquired the painting in 1985. The artwork was created in 1944 during the heated presidential race between Roosevelt and Dewey, according to Jeremy Clowe, manager of media services at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge. "This was a singular theme of Rockwell's that he used several times," Clowe said. He used a similar theme in a painting depicting the race between Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower and Democrat Adlai Stevenson in 1952. This was done while Rockwell lived in Vermont, said Clowe. It was one of his many Saturday Evening Post covers. "Rockwell loved doing these kinds of paintings," he said. "He tried to show people the humor in a situation like this. The situation itself is tense in its own right, but he always tried to see the lighter side." Roosevelt was completing his third consecutive presidential term, a feat unprecedented in U.S. history. While he remained popular, there were questions from many sides about the appropriateness of a fourth term, as well as his clearly failing health. Historians believe Dewey was the strongest candidate to run against Roosevelt over the course of his term. The man in the painting is not intended to be in favor of one candidate or the other, Clowe said. Instead, the subject is meant to represent the average person. The Sotheby's catalog lauds the painting for its realism and "astounding attention to detail." Specifically, the fine type in the newspaper to the wrinkles on the man's skin. Reach staff writer Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251. The Associated Press contributed to this report