Santa Margherita a Costalpino, Siena ; Galerie Fisher, Lucerne, November 24–28, 1953, lot 1877 (as Bartolo di Fredi) ; Heinz Kisters, Kreuzlingen; Acquired by the Putnam Foundation, 1998
Provenance Notes:  The importance of this impressive, exceptionally well-preserved work
was first recognized by Miklós Boskovits in 1980 (Miklós Boskovits,“Su Niccolò di Buonaccorso, Benedetto di Bindo, e la pittura senese del primo Quattrocento,” Paragone, nos. 359–61 (1980): 4–5, 15 n. 5), when he identified it as the missing central panel of a signed and dated altarpiece by Niccolò di Buonaccorso, formerly located in the parish church of Santa Margherita a Costalpino, on the outskirts of Siena. The existence of this altarpiece had been first recorded in the early nineteenth century by the Sienese historian Ettore Romagnoli, who wrote
that in 1822 he had discovered in the church of Santa Margherita three panels from a dismembered triptych, showing, respectively, the Madonna and Child, St. Margaret and the Dragon, and an unrecognizable, badly damaged male saint.
 The present panel appeared on the art market in 1953, without a signature or date, and a tentative attribution to Niccolò’s older contemporary Bartolo di Fredi. This identification remained unquestioned for thirty years, while the painting remained in the collection of Heinz Kisters, in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. Boskovits was the first author to point out, aptly, the close stylistic relation of the Madonna and Child to the Costalpino St. Lawrence —restored to its original appearance between 1943 and 1946 and subsequently catalogued as a work of Niccolò
by Bernard Berenson—leaving no grounds for doubt that the two images were executed by the same hand, and that they were originally included in the same complex.