What famous family ruled Florence during Michelangelo's life?
Florence in the 15th century was ruled by the famous Medici family, the most famous member of which was probably Lorenzo de' Medici. This family was not only powerful and influential over life in Florence, but they had close ties to French Kings, the rulers of other Italian city states, and most people of power who were in the know during their reign knew to deal directly with the head of the Medici family rather than the other parts of the Florence government.
Lorenzo, also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, was very important in the creative and productive history of Michelangelo because he was a very generous and consistent patron of the arts, and Michelangelo's first patron. He commissioned paintings, frescoes and sculptures, and left a lasting impression on the art and cultural history of Florence.