The de Medici family was a powerful and influential family from Florence. Known as a dynasty of skilled and influential aristocrats with exceedingly refined tastes, they ruled the whole region from its capital throughout the 14th to the 18th century. The family’s members included three popes - Leo X, Clement VII, and Leo XI - as well as numerous rulers of Florence (notably Lorenzo the Magnificent, patron of some of the most famous works of Renaissance art) and even great Queens, such as 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 was the sponsorship of art and architecture, mainly during Early and High Renaissance. The de Medici was to thank for the flourish in the majority of Florentine art during their rule. During the Renaissance, food became a big focus of interest as, in such a bountiful area, it grew to be art, research, gustative and visual elaboration. The de Medici family was made up of refined gourmands that liked hunting, banquets and generally good food. Catherine de Medici herself introduced the Italian School of Cuisine to France, bringing her cooks and recipes with her when she became Queen of France.