It's certainly an enormous resource. In some ways it's too big. For someone who might be interested in landscape, for instance, or group portraits, or simply pictorial construction, it would be difficult to know where to start - although the search facility is good for those who know what they want.Now back to the Web Gallery of Art. Thanks Sean. It's a very good reference source and even for the most accomplished photographer, a visit once a week, will add a new set of possibilities to what one might want or not want to work towards. As a reminder again, it's here.
Visit, wander and then come back. Could it help your own work? Is there anyone interesting or new that might inform your photography?
Maybe some suggestions might be useful for starting points? For anyone interested in landscape/topographical work, for instance, the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century painters (i.e. just pre-photography) are worth a look.
And then, inevitably, there are significant artists who are not included. One of these, who I think is vital for anyone interested in pictorial construction, is the French painter Gustave Caillebotte. The photohistorian Peter Galassi and the art historian Kurt Varnedoe co-wrote a comprehensive book about him (published by Yale U.P. in 1987).