I don't think you need to be a big art history buff to appreciate the "impressionist" movement and its impact on art in general. It was hip and cutting edge in the late 1800's and the guy that started it all was Claude Monet.
Claude Monet noticed the village of Giverny on a train ride and later decided to move there. He then created the gardens that became the inspiration of so many of his well known paintings.
Today the village of Giverny is most famous for Monet's house and its surounding gardens. It is truly a magnificent place!
Giverny is a short train ride from Paris and once arriving at the train station it is easy to rent bicycles for the day. This is a wonderful area to explore on bike.
I spent hours walking the Giverny gardens and made sure to walk across the bridge over the water lilies.