Oil on canvas, 19.5 x 27.5 inches
Fischer was born in Munich, Germany; however, at the turn of the 20th century he had arrived in the United States (New York) as a deckhand on a German ship. After obtaining his freedom, he continued to sail on American ships. Although sailing occupied most of his time (he also worked as a crew member on racing yachts in Long Island Sound and Connecticut), Fischer worked as a handyman and model for Philadelphia artist, A.B. Frost (1905-1906). How much this guided his future is unknown; however, in 1906 Fischer traveled to Paris to study at the Academie Julian under Jean Paul Laurens. Upon his return, Fischer established a studio in Wilmington, Delaware, where his teacher and mentor, illustrator, Howard Pyle lived. Fischer moved back to New York City in 1910, where his career as an illustrator fully developed. That year he sold his first illustration to Harper’s Weekly, and then illustrated an Everybody’s Magazine story by Jack London. Also in 1910, Fischer began illustrating for “The Saturday Evening Post”, and continued to do so for the next forty-eight years. He went on to illustrate Tugboat Annie in 1931, Moby Dick, Treasure Island, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In 1938, Fischer moved to the artists' colony of Woodstock, New York where he began on oil paintings for his book Foc's'le Days (published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1947). During World War II Fischer was sworn in as a lieutenant commander on the United States Coast Guard cutter Campbell. In 1943 works painted during this time were exhibited the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and are now in the Coast Guard Academy collection in New London, Connecticut.