Retelling of the Cinderella tale set in 17th century Holland. The story follows plain but clever Iris, her slow-witted sister, Ruth, and their scheming, beautiful and once rich mother, Margarethe. Although plain, Iris possesses an inner charm and intelligence that helps win her family positions as servants for The Master, a complex and talented portrait painter. He is immediately drawn in by Iris' charm and decides to paint her portrait. The result inspires wealthy tulip merchant Van Den Meer to commission a portrait of his daughter, the beautiful but insecure Clara. For Clara, her beauty has been more of a curse than a gift. Margarethe uses her cunning to persuade Van Den Meer to marry her, and her greed leads to the ruin of his business, plunging the family into financial ruin yet again. Margarethe puts all her faith in a reluctant Iris when a prince comes to town in search of a bride.