Andreas Leonard Roller (known in Russia as Andrei Adamovich) was born in Regensburg in Germany into a theatrical family: his father was a famous scene-shifter, his uncle an accompanist and his brothers theatre designers. He trained at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Polytechnic Institute in Vienna. From 1822 he worked as a scene-shifter in theatres in Vienna, Munich, Dresden and Berlin. It was in Berlin that his artistic signature fully emerged. He was profoundly influenced by the great German architect and designer Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841), a fact evident even in Roller´s late works. In 1834, already a famous artist of the romantic academic school, an experienced set designer and a genius in creating stage effects, he was invited to Russia. Thanks to Roller, Russian theatre joined European theatre in terms of set design: ever since, the sets of the Imperial Theatres in St Petersburg and Moscow greatly resembled those of European theatres. Over thirty-eight years working in Russia, Roller built stage machinery and sets for sixty-three ballets and seventy-eight operas, and was the first in Russia to use moving sets and the so-called "ruin effect", where the sets collapse before the eyes of the audience. Roller was the first artist to design Russian operas by Vertovsky and Glinka.