1624. A young Anton Van Dyck fascinated by the information coming from a woman named painter Sofonisba, decides to pay a visit to Palermo, where he lives and blind and elderly.
With the completely clear head Sofonisba tells his story, his beginnings as a painter and his journey as a bridesmaid in the Spanish court of Philip II.
Conversation after conversation will go forged between both intense and curious friendship.
At the same time takes a parallel story set in 1564: Pope Pius IV ordered the nuncio to make trips to the Spanish court reigned by Felipe II to undertake a secret mission.
Captain General of the Holy Inquisition, Fernando de Valdés has imprisoned the Archbishop of Toledo. This keeps a secret that under no circumstances should be disclosed.
So the nuncio should undertake a secret diplomatic mission to not interfere with the Inquisition but also not harm the Archbishop of Toledo and primarily to ensure that the 'secret' of the pope, it is protected.
Sofonisba, who at that time living in the Spanish court as maid of Queen Elizabeth of Valois, courier serve them: the Pope has commissioned a table Sofonisba and should trucarlo nuncio to convey the message of whether or not the secret is to safe.
The plot is complicated to the point that the precious and true "secret" will be years and years hiding behind the box Sofonisba and will only many years later that will reappear by chance ...