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Provenance

Installed in the garden, outside the nymphaeum, of the Villa Litta Visconti Borromeo, Lainate, near Milan, before 1617 (and possibly part of the original installation completed in 1589);[1] purchased c. 1865 by"Prince Napoleon,"[2] Palais Royal, Paris; (his sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 9-11 May 1872, 2nd day, no. 221, with NGA 1937.1.132 as no. 222); Wareham; (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 25 July 1891, no. 91, with NGA 1937.1.132 as no. 92, withdrawn); (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 20 May 1892, no. 147, with NGA 1937.1.132 as no. 146).[3] Marquis de Ganay, Paris, by 1913; purchased by (Duveen Brothers, Inc., London, New York, and Paris);[4] purchased 15 December 1936 by The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh;[5] gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1913
Exposition d'Objets d'Art du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance, Paris, 1913.
Bibliography
1937
Cortissoz, Royal. An Introduction to the Mellon Collection. Boston, 1937: 28.
1941
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 236, A-22, as Bacchus and a Young Faun by Jacopo Sansovino.
1942
Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 253, repro. 236, as Bacchus and a Young Faun by Jacopo Sansovino.
1943
De Tolnay, Charles. Michelangelo. 5 vols. Princeton, 1943: 1:144.
1943
Swarzenski, Georg. "Some Aspects of Italian Quattrocento Sculpture in the National Gallery." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 6th series, 24 (November 1943): 301 fig. 16, 302, as by Jacopo Sansovino.
1944
Duveen Brothers, Inc. Duveen Sculpture in Public Collections of America: A Catalog Raisonné with illustrations of Italian Renaissance Sculptures by the Great Masters which have passed through the House of Duveen. New York, 1944: figs. 189-193, as by Jacopo Sansovino.
1945
Weinberger, Martin. "Book Review, review of The Youth of Michelangelo, by Charles Tolnay." The Art Bulletin 27 (1945): 69-74.
1949
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 169, repro., as Bacchus and a Young Faun by Jacopo Sansovino.
1956
Valentiner, Wilhelm R. "Shorter Notes: A Neglected Sculptor in the Mannerist Exhibition at Amsterdam." The Art Quarterly 19 (Spring 1956): 41-49, repro. fig. 2.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 170, as Bacchus and a Young Faun by Jacopo Sansovino.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 150, repro., as Bacchus and a Young Faun by Jacopo Sansovino.
1987
"The Mellon Venus." National Gallery of Art Newsletter (July-August 1987): 5.
1990
Gentilini, Giancarlo and Morandotti, Alessandro. "The Sculptures of the Nymphaeum at Lainate: The Origins of the Mellon Venus and Bacchus." Studies in the History of Art 24 (1990): 136-138, 155-160, repro.
1990
Lewis, Douglas and Luchs, Alison. "Report on the First Curatorial Colloquy at the National Gallery of Art, June 1987." Studies in the History of Art 24 (1990):131-133.
1994
Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1994: 151, repro.
1998
Zanuso, Susanna. "Marco Antonio Prestinari: Scultore di Federico Borromeo." Nuovi studi 5 (1998): 85-109, fig. 185.
2000
National Gallery of Art Special Issue. Connaissance des Arts. Paris, 2000:59.
2005
Morandotti, Alessandro. Milano profana nell'età dei Borromeo. Milan, 2005: 39, 42, 58, 77 n. 6, 85 nn. 232 and 238, 242-243, figs. XXII, XXIII, 282 fig. 204.