|Colin Firth||Johannes Vermeer|
|Tom Wilkinson||Van Ruijven|
|Judy Parfitt||Maria Thins|
When her father goes blind, Griet must go to work as a maid for painter Johannes Vermeer . While cleaning the house, Griet strikes up an unlikely friendship with Vermeer, which both agree to keep secret for fear of provoking the painter's jealous wife, Catharina . When wealthy patron Van Ruijven begins to lust after Griet, and commissions a painting of her, Vermeer and Griet are obliged to spend long hours alone together.