M. Suriyamoorthy (1944-2012) graduated from the Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai, with a First Class Diploma in 1963. He went on to become a scholar in State Lalit Kala Academy, Tamil Nadu in 1963 for two years and then a National Scholar at MS (Maharaja Sayajirao) University of Baroda, Gujerat, for another two years from 1965. At MS University, Suriyamoorthy was under the tutelage of Prof K G Subramanyan and M Jyoti Bhatt.
Suriyamoorthy evolved his own unique style and medium. After the demise of his father, a Siddha practitioner of traditional Indian medicine, the unused medicines were ground and mixed to create unique colours and pigments. For instance, seashells were ground to create a special White colour. The water he used to mix his colours came from the major rivers of India: the Brahmaputra, the Ganges, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery. After many years of experimentation, he perfected his formula so that his paint colours could retain their special hues, tonality, and brightness for many decades. As he was born in Tanjore, South India, the special characteristics of the Tanjore School and the influences of Subramanyan and Jyoti Bhatt are subconsciously evident in his works. His dominant themes were rural life in India, Mother & Child, and
He was the recipient of several prestigious awards from national and international organisations, and he held numerous solo and group exhibitions within India and in France, the Netherlands, Spain, Mexico, Romania, Bulgaria, New Zealand and Singapore. His works are in many important collections including the Government Museum Chennai, Government Museum Hyderabad, Tamilnadu Archaeological Department, National Gallery of Modern Art New Delhi, Lalit Kala Academy New Delhi, Lalit Kala Academy Chennai,
Academy of Fine Arts Calcutta, Government Museum Chandigarh and the Chitrakala Parishath Bangalore.
On 19 March 2014, his oil painting was sold in New York by Sotheby’s. Suriyamoorthy frequently visited Galerie Belvedere in Singapore which acquired several of his works and has represented him in Singapore.