He was one of two sculptors in his family, along with his younger brother Francesco Maria Schiaffino. He trained with Domenico Parodi. He befriended the Piola family of artists; Domenico Piola provided him with some designs, and Bernardo was close friends with his son Paolo Girolamo Piola. In his biography, it claims he died of melancholy after the death of his inseparable friend. Among his pupils was Francesco Queirolo.
- Soprani, Raffaello (1769). Carlo Giuseppe Ratti, ed. Delle vite de' pittori, scultori, ed architetti genovesi; Tomo secundo scritto da Carlo Giuseppe Ratti. Stamperia Casamara in Genoa, dalle Cinque Lampadi, con licenza de Superiori; Digitized by Googlebooks from Oxford University copy on Feb 2, 2007. pp. 259–262.
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