Andrea Gritti was the Doge of Venice from 1523 till his death 1538, following a distinguished diplomatic and military career. He concluded a treaty with Charles V, ending Venice’s active involvement in the Italian Wars. He attempted to maintain the neutrality of the Republic in the face of the continued struggle between Charles and Francis, urging both to turn their attention to the advances of the Ottoman Empire in Hungary. However, he could not prevent Suleiman I from attacking Corfu in 1537, drawing Venice into a war with the Ottomans.
Titian painted Gritti twice during his reign. He completed this posthumous portrait, which might have been commissioned as a memorial by the doge’s family, around 1546–1548.