Probably commissioned by Eleonora of Aragon, duchess of Ferrara [1450-1493]. Count Étienne Méjan [secretary to Eugène Beauharnais], Milan, by 1812. Count d'Arache [possibly Count Bertolazone d'Arache], Turin, by 1849; bequest 1857 to Count Castellani, Turin. Sir John Charles Robinson [1824-1913], London, by 1861; probably sold to Robert Napier, West Shandon, Strathclyde, Scotland, by 1865; (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; 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); (Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York); purchased 27 May 1965 by NGA.
- 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.
- 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.
- Winter Exhibition, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1920-1921.
- 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).
- Loan for display with permanent collection, The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, England, 1947-1958.
- Loan for display with permanent collection, Manchester Art Gallery, England, 1964.
- In Memoriam, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1969, unnumbered checklist.
- Ercole de'Roberti: The Renaissance in Ferrara, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 1999, no. VI, repro.
- Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 115
- European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 102, repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 308, repro.
- Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. Washington, 1979: 1:408-410, 2:pl. 287.
- Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 118, no. 103, color repro.
- European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 354, repro.
- Mündler, Otto. "The Travel Diaries of Otto Mündler." Ed. Carol Togneri Dowd. Walpole Society 51 (1985): 135, 179, 180, 278, 297.
- Manca, Joseph. The Art of Ercole de’ Roberti. Cambridge, 1992: 14, 59-61, 133-136, fig. 17a.
- 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.
- Danziger, Elon. "The Cook Collection: Its Founder and Its Inheritors." The Burlington Magazine 146, no. 1216 (July 2004): 444-458.