The Renaissance was primarily funded by money from the Medici family. How did they make their money? If you go to Florence, you will see the Uffizi, or "offices," which in the day was where the clerks doing money-lending and banking of the Medici family were employed. Today, you will find it housing the many works of art funded by or bought by the family. The Medici family, also known as the House of Medici, first attained wealth and political power in Florence in the 13th century through its success in commerce and banking. Beginning in 1434 with the rise to power of Cosimo de' Medici (or Cosimo the Elder), the family's support of the arts and humanities made Florence into the cradle of the Renaissance, a cultural flowering rivaled only by that of ancient Greece. The Medicis produced four popes (Leo X, Clement VII, Pius IV and Leon XI), and their genes have been mixed into many of Europe's royal families. The last Medici ruler died without a male heir in 1737, ending the family dynasty after almost three centuries.