(b. ca. 1450, Modena, d. 1518, Modena)


Guido Mazzoni (Modanino, Paganino), Italian sculptor, painter, mask-maker and festival director. Throughout his career he was associated with the stage, and known as a painter as well as a sculptor. He was brought up by a paternal uncle, Paganino Mazzoni, a Modenese notary and official of the Este bureaucracy. This connection with the ducal court of Ferrara throws some light on the artist's early training, which is otherwise obscure. A document of 1472 refers to him as a painter, and his first sculpture strongly echoes the figural style in Francesco del Cossa's frescoes (1466–the mid-1470s) at the Palazzo Schifanoia outside Ferrara. Mazzoni may have worked at the Palazzo Schifanoia in association with the stucco master Domenico di Paris, where he may have learnt to model papier-mâché props for the court masques that contemporary sources say he directed and designed. A related activity of these years was making the realistic and caricatural festival masks (volti modenesi) for which Modena was famous.

After 1480 he made an Adoration group for the Osservanza (now in the crypt of Modena Cathedral), which reflects the influence of Venetian painting. By 1489 he had moved to Naples where his most important work is a Lamentation group in the church of Monte Oliveto. In 1495 he accompanied Charles VIII to France, and in 1498 executed the tomb of Charles VIII in St-Denis (destroyed in 1793). In 1507m he returned briefly to Modena, but thereafter again worked in France, executing an equestrian statue of Louis XII at Blois and returning to Italy only on the death of Louis XII in 1515. In 1516 he is once more recorded in Modena, where he died in 1518.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.