Fisher, Edward (1730–p.1781), engraver, was born 18 November 1730 in Dublin, son of Charles Fisher, hatter, of Wood Quay, Dublin, and Mary Lamb. Nothing is known of his early life or training. By 1757 he was working in London. In that year four mezzotint plates by him appeared in C. N. Jenty's Essay on the human structure. As he published a number of plates by James McArdell (qv), it is thought he may have trained as a mezzotint engraver in McArdell's studio. From 1761 to 1776 he exhibited regularly with the Society of Artists, becoming a member in 1766. In 1761 he was living in Leicester Square; he moved to Ludgate St. in 1778. By the early 1760s Fisher established himself in London as an engraver of considerable skill. Horace Walpole cited him along with McArdell and Richard Houston as one of those who ‘have already promised by their works to revive the beauty of mezzotint’.
Fisher is probably best known for his prints after paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–92), particularly for such works as ‘Lady Sarah Bunbury’ and ‘Garrick between tragedy and comedy’. Of the eighteen works he exhibited at the Society of Artists, fourteen were after Reynolds, who however is reputed to have criticised him for being ‘injudiciously exact’, meaning that the minor details of his plates were too highly finished. The artist was nevertheless keenly aware of the importance of engraving in the establishment of a reputation and often took a close interest in their production. In the Society of Artists exhibition of 1761 Reynolds's portrait of Laurence Sterne (qv) was shown alongside the engraving of it by Fisher. It has been suggested that Reynolds was to benefit financially from the sale of the print, and so the exercise may be seen as an example of a joint venture with Fisher (Penny, Reynolds, 200). His elaborate engravings such as ‘Lady Elizabeth Keppel’ (after Reynolds) could attract high prices, with this example selling for fifteen shillings in 1762.
In 1776 Fisher published a set of mezzotints after his own drawings of ten characters from The vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith (qv). He died in London some time after 1781, as the latest print known by him is of that date. His work may be found in the collections of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and the British Museum.