Son of a wealthy merchant, Wadsworth used his sizable inheritance to support charities and the arts. In 1844, he founded the Wadsworth Atheneum, a vast repository of artwork in Hartford, Connecticut, which includes many of Thomas Cole's paintings. See E.B. and E.C. Kellogg, Wadsworth Atheneum, Main Street, Hartford (c. 1842-6). Wadsworth met Cole through his uncle-in-law, John Trumbull, in 1826, and the two men quickly become friends, maintaining correspondence for many years. Wadsworth was a kind and beneficent patron of Cole throughout his career, and Mount Etna from Taormina (1843) was acquired by his newly established museum in 1844. See Thomas Sully, Daniel Wadsworth.