Florence - early Renaissance. Paolo Uccello is obsessed with the emerging techniques of perspective drawing. Pressurised by his wife to get a commission, he promises an ambitious suite of paintings of a victorious battle to local ‘godfather' Leonardo Salimbini.
Salimbini is excited about the paintings - and boasting to his friend Cosimo Medici. Uccello, - and Salimbini’s major demo, Rocco - soon realises he’s out of his depth. He seeks help from his old master, but he’s jealous and won’t oblige. Salimbini and Rocco visit and are disappointed with progress, but Uccello buys some time, while Salibini is on honeymoon.
They come back weeks later to find still nothing on the walls. Salimbini ‘suggests’ Uccello not leave until they have satisfactory progress, and leaves Rocco to ponder what would be ‘satisfactory progress’. After implicit threats, Rocco finds a way to put the tentative and theoretical Uccello ‘into the battle’ and leaves him adrenalised to paint the scene. This pays off, everyone is happy and Uccello feels unburdened.