He was born and died in Ferrara. He appears to have studied under such as Lorenzo Costa, who also trained Dosso Dossi and Cosimo Tura, and came under the influence of Ercole Roberti. In 1521 he married Giovanna, the daughter of Bartolomeo Vacchi, a Venetian painter. Much of his work was commissioned by the duke Ercole I d'Este from Ferrara. Mazzolino was influenced by il Garofalo and Boccaccino. He is known for devotional cabinet pictures, in a style somewhat regressive, or primitive, relative to the modern classicism then emerging. For example, his Massacre canvas has a turbulent and cartoonish crowding.
The exact date, or even year, of his death is not known, but he died during a plague which devastated the area.
Paintings at National Gallery, London
- The Holy Family with Saint Francis
- Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery
- Christ disputing with the Doctors
- The Holy Family with Saint Nicholas of Tolentino
- The Nativity
- Christ disputing with Doctors (1520–25) (Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin)
- The Tribute Money (Christ Church, Oxford)
- Massacre of the Innocents (1515–1520, Uffizi)
- Madonna and Child with St Joseph (1522) (rediscovered September, 2009, Cheltenham, UK)
- Adoration of the Shepherds (c. 1524) Ringling Museum Sarasota)
- Madonna with Sainy Antonio Abbot (1525, Chantilly)
- Circumcision (1526, Vienna)
- Christ Purging the Temple (c. 1527) (Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, UK)
- The Holy Family in a Landscape (Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany)
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- Works by Lodovico Mazzolino at National Gallery in London
- Francis P. Smyth and John P. O'Neill, ed. (1986). The Age of Correggio and the Carracci: Emilian Painting of the 16th and 17th Centuries. Washington: National Gallery of Art. pp. 144–146.
- Freedberg, Sydney J. (1993). Painting in Italy, 1500-1600. Penguin Books. pp. 404–405.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Lodovico Mazzolini". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.