A beautifully evocative and suspenseful double time-scheme narrative about Rembrandt, love and art.
The artist Rembrandt, bankrupted in the great tulip crash, stows away on a boat for Hull. To pay for his passage, he must paint the captain's portrait. For himself, he paints a portrait of the captains beautiful wife. Rembrandt has seduced many a sitter before, and sets about doing so again.
But he has a rival - none other than the MP for Hull after the English Civil War, the poet Andrew Marvel! And the Captain's wife is far from being a passive player in this complicated game of love, deceit and manipulation.
All this is discovered in the present day by another painter, Amy, who has returned to her old family home as a restorer. As she paints a portrait of the man she is becoming involved with, so she uncovers the secrets of the past.