The plot concerns Maurice (O'Toole), an elderly actor who finds himself attracted to his friend's young great-niece Jessie (Whittaker). Maurice finds Jessie initially unfriendly but succeeds in befriending her in part due to the appeal of his celebrity status. He takes her to the National Gallery in London, England to view his favorite painting, The Rokeby Venus by the Spanish artist VelÃ?Â¡zquez. Maurice arranges for Jessie to model nude for an art class, partly because he is attracted to her and hopes to watch the artists at work. When he is asked to step out he finds a bucket to stand on so he can peep into the room but falls and is found out. As a result of Jessie posing for the art class he decides to give her the nickname "Venus".