The Medici family were merchants and bankers who had enormous impacts over the city of Florence throughout the Renaissance. They managed the Medici bank, which at its peak was the biggest bank in Europe. The House Of Medici rose to power around the time of Giovanni de Medici who began the Medici bank and became leader of the merchants in Florence. His son Cosimo continued the family’s rise to power by becoming the leader of Florence. The powerful family ruled Florence until its decline in the late fifteenth century. In its time, the Medici family rose to positons of power throughout Europe. The Medici have been called the “godfathers of the Renaissance.” Intellectuals, artists and scholars began to rediscover the great classics and recover the talented aspects of the past; they fused it with the present creating a new era that led to another period of greatness in history. Florence served as the cradle and center of the Renaissance. Here, the Medici Family rose to power and played a prominent role. The man responsible for putting the family in Florentine society supremacy was no other than Cosimo de Medici or Cosimo the Elder. He was able to gain power first and foremost through his wealth which came from the Medici Bank. These funds from his business was what let him have the opportunities to extend his influence further than his business connections and expand the power bestowed to his family. With Cosimo de Medici’s further rise to power, Florentine leadership in the arts had also been established well. His patronage brought much work to the city’s painters, sculptors and architects and he also greatly encouraged another strand of the Renaissance in which Florence plays a major role.