The Medici family was a powerful and influential family from Florence, a dynasty of skilled and influential aristocrats with exceedingly refined tastes that ruled the whole region from its capital from the 14th to 18th century. The family’s members included three popes - Leo X, Clement VII, and Leo XI - besides numerous rulers of Florence (notably Lorenzo the Magnificent, patron of some of the most famous works of Renaissance art) and even great Queens, like Catherine de Medici, Queen of France, and Marie de Medici, another Queen Consort of France. Among many important things, the biggest accomplishments of the de Medici were in the sponsorship of art and architecture, mainly during Early and High Renaissance. The de Medici were to thank for the flourishing of the majority of Florentine art during their rule. During the Renaissance, food became the focus of interest as never before: in such a bountiful area, it grew to be art, research, gustative and visual elaboration. The de Medici family was made up of refined gourmand that liked hunting, banquets and generally good food. Catherine de Medici herself introduced the Italian School of Cuisine to France, bringing her cooks and her recipes with her when she became Queen of France.