Best known for his Gloucester, Massachusetts, fishing scenes, war convoys, and marine battle scenes, Anton Fischer was born in Munich, Germany, and came to New York City in 1903. Among the books he illustrated were Moby Dick, Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Treasure Island. His work in later years focused on landscapes and marine paintings.
Orphaned at an early age, when he was 15 he was forced to study for the priesthood and Fischer ran away. He became a printer’s devil, then went to sea for eight years. He crewed on racing yachts in Long Island Sound, then later studied for two years in Paris with Jean Paul Laurens at the Academie Julian, spending summers painting landscapes in Normandy.
Upon returning to the States he began working as a magazine and book illustrator for Harper’s Weekly, the Saturday Evening Post, writer Jack London, and others. Foc’s’le Days, a book about his years at sea, was published in 1947.
During World War II he worked as an official Coast Guard artist, and his paintings are now in the Coast Guard Academy collection in New London, Connecticut, as well as the collections of the Mystic Seaport Museum and the Kendall Whaling Museum.