Born in Ferrara and becoming known within the School of Ferrara style, Scarsellino was a Mannerist painter. His first training came from his father, Sigismondo Scarsella (1530 – 1614) who was a painter and architect. Scarsellino then broadened his influence traveling to Bologna and then to Venice. In Venice he trained in the workshop of Paolo Veronese (1528 – 1588), an influential master of the Venetian School. Perhaps his greatest influence from the School of Ferrara was Dosso Dossi (1490 – 1542) and he also studied the works of the Mannerist painter, Parmigianino (1503 – 1540).
His early works include, Virgin and Child with the Infant Baptist, The Holy Family, and another Virgin and Child. These religious works show an early Ferrarese style, as well as the rich coloring of the Venetians. He also painted mythological works, such as Diana and Endymion, Apollo, Venus Bathing, and Venus and Adonis.
Upon returning to Ferrara, Scarsellino began work in the Palazzo dei Diamanti, working with the Carracci family, notably Ludovico (1555 – 1619). Scarsellino is also noted as having influenced Ludovico’s cousin, Annibale (1560 – 1609), in his use of the Venetian style. His other documented works include, a portrait of Saint Demetrius, The Way to Calvary, The Martyrdom of Saint Venanatius or Camerino, Fame Conquering Time, Landscape with Abraham and Isaac, The Virgin Receiving Saint Stephen of Hungary in the Paradise, Virgin and Angels Imploring Christ not to Punish Lust, Avarice and Pride and his piece now in the Uffizi Gallery, Judgment of Paris.