Moret sur Loing

The River Of Painters

The charming town of Moret sur Loing

The charming town of Moret sur Loing, France

Many artists who at a certain moment in their life find inspiration in places they stay have produce some of the world most wonderful art work. Such were the nineteenth century painters, Van Gogh in Auvers sur Oise, Gustave Caillebotte in Yerres, Paul Gauguin in Pont Aven, Picasso and friends in Montmartre and other artists who have made a once unknown place known to many. One of such place is the charming town of Moret sur Loing, just a few kilometres from Fontainebleau. It was in this small Medieval town that Alfred Sisley one of the lesser known Impressionist artist came in 1889 and lived till his death in 1899. Small and picturesque, the entrance to the city is through the Medieval gates leading to the main street flanked with half timbered houses. From the main street are paths leading to the famous bridge that crossed the Loing river with its three watermills.  There are also great walks along the banks of the river and a favourite spot for fishing. Once a year on a special “fish festival” more than 100 kg cultivated fresh water trout are thrown into the river for the pleasure of fishing.

The charming town of Moret sur Loing

The picturesque river town of Moret sur Loing

Moret sur Loing is undoubtedly a place of enchantment for painters who choose to gather around the river banks where Alfred Sisley used to sit while observing the different lights of the day and painted some of his wonderful views of the bridge. Today painters and enthusiasts would come spend their afternoons charmed by the view while orchestrating their brushes dipped in colourful hues to get that perfect impression of the unique water scenery.

A painter in Moret sur Loing

A painter in Moret sur Loing

If water and the magical scenery dominate the landscape, its culinary tradition is also not to be missed. The barley sugar (sucre d’orge) is the town most cherished candy. The caramelized barley candy was made in 1638 by the Benedictine nuns who founded the Priory of Our Lady of Angels (Prieuré de Notre Dame des Anges) in Moret sur Loing. Unfortunately after gaining a great popularity the production ceased to exist in 1758 when the nuns left the Priory following the French revolution. Fortunately one of the nuns came back to Moret sur Loing and confided the famous recipe to her good friend who in turn handed it to some nuns who came back to live in Moret sur Loing. The barley candy was once again produced by the nuns and attained its popularity in the nineteenth century. By 1960 due to some problem they stop producing the barley candies and left the town in 1972. But prior to their departure, the “secret recipe” was handed down in 1970 by one of the nuns to Jean Rousseau the local candy maker who continues to make this delectable caramelized barley flavoured sweets up to this day. There is the barley sugar candy museum (Le Musée du Sucre d’Orge) for those who wants to get a closer look into one of France oldest sweets …

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Just right in front of the small shop where the candies are sold is the old fifteenth century church. It was here that Alfred Sisley used to wander and painted some of his wonderful images of this church

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This charming river town is also a treasure trove of historic remnants with a glimpse into its Medieval and Renaissance past …

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And last but not least, the house where Alfred Sisley lived till his death in 1899, today a private residence …


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