After I visiting Venice in 2010, I became interested in their history and decided to paint a portrait of the 16th-century Doge, Leonardo Loredan. The obvious source material for this was Giovanni Bellini’s famous Portrait of Loredan. However, I wanted to use more expressive brush strokes and unusual colors than Bellini's, and the goal was not necessarily to create a perfect likeness. I hoped to give the composition a "fluid" style and feeling, as a reference to the importance of water in Venetian culture. To the right of Loredan, I depicted an emblem of St. Mark’s Lion—based on a real one that is actually dedicated to Loredan. In the yellow background, there is a minimalist map of Venice and the Grand Canal.