Friedlaender first studied art under the esteemed Otto Mueller. Later he moved to Dresden. His first exhibit took place in Holland after which he moved to Paris, where he worked with the French resistance. Friedlaender's primary residence remained in Paris, although he frequently visited the United States where he taught art and published some very fine etchings. His reputation was based to a large degree on his mastery of color etchings. He influenced William Stanley Hayter at Atelier 17 and many others. Friedlaender's etchings are known throughout the world.