This delightful fairy-tale is set in the early 19th century in the Grand Duchy of Babenhausen. The story revolves around the desire of the court portrait painter, Herr Cazotte, to seduce Ehrengard, maid-of-honour to Princess Ludmilla. The artist's ambition is to conquer the young maiden simply by causing her to blush 'not with indignation at an assault, but with ecstasy at a revelation...In this blush her past, present and future will be thrown at my feet'. To this end he resolves to paint a portrait of her as Venus bathing, to capture her on canvas for all eternity. But the beautiful maid from the mountains is not swift to surrender her virtue, as the artist discovers to his cost.