Born in Basra in 1938, Ismael Fattah al-Turk went to Baghdad for his higher education. Enrolling in Baghdad’s Institute of Fine Arts, he received his degrees in Painting in 1956 and in Sculpture in 1958. He soon after moved to Italy to continue his education and obtained his degree in sculpture from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome in 1963. Having received prizes for his work in Italy, he was already among the most prominent of young Iraqi artists by the time he returned to Baghdad later on that year. Ismael Fattah was always equally a painter and a sculptor. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he received numerous commissions to make statues of prominent Iraqi cultural figures, including statues of Al-Rasafi, Al-Kadhimi, Al-Wasiti, and Abu Nuwas in various public squares in Baghdad.