The artist would create portraits where very few elements were actually visible, with the rest blurring into the darkness. His choice of clothing and backdrop would be key to this. Often only the hands and face would be light enough to see, though in the case of this portrait of Doge Alvise Mocenigo, his clothing is a slightly lighter brown so we can at least pick out some of this addition. The man sat in front of us is leaning slightly away from view, but with his face angled towards us - typical of portrait painting during the Mannerist era and also previous to that.
A Doge is a key position in the running of any city or region during the period of the Papal States of Italy. At this point the country was fragmented into a series of different kingdoms that would frequently be squabbling with each other and also warring with foreign neighbours. Alvise Mocenigo was appointed to the position of Doge in 1570 and served for seven years. This portrait may have been in the same year as his appointment, perhaps even as a means to celebrate it.
Tintoretto was a proud Venetian and many of his installed murals remain there today. This original artwork can be found in the city's Gallerie dell'Accademia. The gallery can be found in the Scuola della Carità which is close to the famous Grand Canal. It features a wealth of Italian and North European art, with highlights including The Tempest by Giorgione, St. George by Andrea Mantegna, St Jerome and Donor by Piero della Francesca and also a number of other paintings by Tintoretto himself.