Born and active mainly in Emilia and Ferrara, and considered to be mainly a painter of the School of Ferrara. He studied painting under Giuseppe Mazzuoli, known as il Bastarolo. He knew Guercino and was eulogized by Guido Reni as having a "bounty of a most honest life, a great knowledge of design, and strength in colorizing". Bononi rose to prominence in Ferrara when the painter Scarsellino died, and the former called to Rome. He was initially buried in Santa Maria in Vado, for which he had helped decorate the ceiling with various canvases.
- Second of four chapels, (Basilica della Ghiara, Bologna)
- St Louis of Toulouse Praying for the end of the Plague (Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna)
- Madonna of Loreto appearing to Saints John the Evangelist, Bartholemew, and James the Great,
- Guardian Angel (late 1620s, National picture gallery at Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara) 
- Ste Barbara
- Saint Dominic in Soriano, Church of St Dominic, Ferrara.
- Sassu, Giovanni (1 February 2015). "Carlo Bononi e i colori "di cuore liquefatto"". MuseoinVita (in Italian). Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- Fondazione Manodori website.
- Francis P. Smyth and John P. O'Neill (Editors in Chief (1986). National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, ed. The Age of Correggio and the Carracci: Emilian Painting of the 16th and 17th Centuries. pp. 379–85.
- Camillo Laderchi (1856). La pittura ferrarese, memorie. Googlebooks. pp. 148–153.
- Census of Ferrarese Paintings and Drawings 
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