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Provenance

Probably commissioned by Eleonora of Aragon, duchess of Ferrara [1450-1493]. Count Étienne Méjan [secretary to Eugène Beauharnais], Milan, by 1812.[1] Count d'Arache [possibly Count Bertolazone d'Arache], Turin, by 1849;[2] bequest 1857 to Count Castellani, Turin.[3] Sir John Charles Robinson [1824-1913], London, by 1861; probably sold to Robert Napier, West Shandon, Strathclyde, Scotland, by 1865;[4] (his sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 13 April 1877, no. 422, as The Nurse Saving the Children of Medea by Andrea Mantegna); repurchased by Sir John Charles Robinson, London; purchased 1878 by Sir Francis Cook, 1st bt. [1817-1901], Doughty House, Richmond, Surrey;[5] by inheritance to his son, Sir Frederick Lucas Cook, 2nd bt. [1844-1920], Doughty House; by inheritance to his son, Sir Frederick Herbert Cook, 3rd bt. [1868-1939], Doughty House; by inheritance to his son, Sir Francis Ferdinand Maurice Cook, 4th bt. [1907-1978], Doughty House, and Cothay Manor, Somerset; sold August 1964 to (S. & R. Rosenberg, London);[6] (Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York); purchased 27 May 1965 by NGA.

Exhibition History
1861
Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French, and English Masters, British Institution, London, 1861, no. 8, as The Children of Medea rescued by the Nurse by Andrea Mantegna.
1894
Exhibition of Pictures, Drawings & Photographs of Works of the School of Ferrara-Bologna, 1440-1540, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1894, no. 7, as Medea and Her Children (?) attributed to Ercole de' Roberti.
1920
Winter Exhibition, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1920-1921.
1930
Exhibition of Italian Art 1200-1900, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1930, no. 207 (no. 212 in commemorative catalogue published 1931; no. 80 in souvenir catalogue).
1947
Loan for display with permanent collection, The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, England, 1947-1958.
1964
Loan for display with permanent collection, Manchester Art Gallery, England, 1964.
1969
In Memoriam, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1969, unnumbered checklist.
1999
Ercole de'Roberti: The Renaissance in Ferrara, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 1999, no. VI, repro.
Bibliography
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 115
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 102, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 308, repro.
1979
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. Washington, 1979: 1:408-410, 2:pl. 287.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 118, no. 103, color repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 354, repro.
1985
Mündler, Otto. "The Travel Diaries of Otto Mündler." Ed. Carol Togneri Dowd. Walpole Society 51 (1985): 135, 179, 180, 278, 297.
1992
Manca, Joseph. The Art of Ercole de’ Roberti. Cambridge, 1992: 14, 59-61, 133-136, fig. 17a.
2003
Boskovits, Miklós, David Alan Brown, et al. Italian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century. The Systematic Catalogue of the National Gallery of Art. Washington, 2003: 607-612, color repro.
2004
Danziger, Elon. "The Cook Collection: Its Founder and Its Inheritors." The Burlington Magazine 146, no. 1216 (July 2004): 444-458.