Standish, an artist, finishes a painting of the Madonna. His wife, Mary, acted as model, and when the Connoisseur and the Parishioner inspect the picture, the former tells Standish that he recognizes in the model a one-time paramour of his. The Connoisseur and the Parishioner buy the painting and after their departure Standish upbraids his wife, who tells him that she believed herself legally married to the Connoisseur. Standish refuses to accept her explanation and ejects her and their baby son. Mary leaves her boy on the steps of a monastery, and seventeen years later, just before becoming a monk, he receives permission to see the world. He wanders into a gay café and succumbs to the charms of Beauty. The other inmates of the place, Lust, Rum, Avarice and Passion are dancing around him when the proprietor enters. It is Mary, his mother. She recognizes him from the crucifix which he wears and which she left with him when he was a baby. Without revealing her identity she persuades him...
Moving Picture World synopsis