Born in Alabama, the Bridgeman family moved north to Boston early in Frederick’s life. They then moved to New York where Frederick was apprenticed to the American Banknote Company as an engraver. He first exhibited work in 1865-6 in Brooklyn, and found sponsorship to fund training in Paris. He joined the studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme in Autumn 1866, splitting his time between Paris and Pont-Avent under the guidance of Robert Wylie. During the winter of 1872-3 he travelled to Spain, Tangiers and Algeria and was inspired by his experiences to create his mature Orientalist style. In 1890 he held a large exhibition at the Fifth Avenue Galleries, New York, which confirmed his successful reputation. In 1907 he became an Officer of the French Legion of Honour, yet after the First World War his popularity waned, and he died in Normandy in 1928.
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