Al-Rassam was the first famous painter of modern Iraq, and is remembered as the leader of its realist school of painting. He was a major figure among the first generation of modern Iraqi artists and was a member of the 'Friends of the Arts Society'.
He was a prolific painter of oils, working in the European traditional style, and painted many landscapes of Iraq. He used shading and composition to suggest the passage of time.
The Pioneers Museum in Baghdad holds a collection of his works, and the majority of his works today are in private hands.