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13 July1933
Olga Cadaval
Famiglia Notarbartolo di Sciara
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

Born in Turin and descended from an aristocratic Italian family, Olga Maria Nicolis di Robilant Álvares Pereira de Melo, a naturalised Portuguese Italian better known as Olga Cadaval, is a patron of art and music. One can see that love of music above all is in her blood, since her ancestor Frederick II of Prussia had already been a musician and patron of Bach and Monteverdi. Olga was not to be outdone and thanks to her, and her love of the piano, some of the most talented musicians of the 20th century flourished. And the composer Benjamin Britten even dedicated an opera to her. After living in Florence and Venice, Olga joined the Red Cross as a volunteer, serving as a radiological nurse during the First World War. It was then that she met a Portuguese woman who introduced her to António Caetano Álvares Pereira de Melo, honorary marquis of Cadaval. The two married in July 1926 in Venice and soon moved to Portugal, settling in Quinta da Piedade in Colares. It was here that Marco Notarbartolo di Sciara visited on 13 July 1933 and did not miss the opportunity to portray her with his 16mm camera together with his two daughters, Olga and Graziella. A moving example of a 'living portrait', recalling the words of a commentator who in 1895 foreshadowed the spread of family cinema in the face of the Lumière demonstrations: 'When these cameras are delivered to the public, when everyone can photograph their loved ones, no longer in their motionless form, but in their movement, in their action, in their familiar gestures, with words on their lips, death will cease to be absolute.'. We have proof of this (apparently) utopian vision: the Marquise, born in 1900, will die in 1996, but here she is looking back at us: a 16mm 33 years old woman yesterday, today and forever!