Denis is searching for his mother’s past, knowing she had secrets. In Nice, he finds her friends, Monique and Clemence. In the 1950s, they were Matisse’s assistants when he was old and ill, pinning up his coloured paper shapes, putting the great cut out works together. Monique inspired his great designs in the chapel at Vence; Clemence, in pursuit of love, was caught in an affair that led to violence and disaster. So they have their own intense and colourful past – but they hold the key to Denis’s past too. He’s about to face the greatest challenge of his life.