Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Saturday 23 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Pio of Pietrelcina
Aleteia logo
Art & Culture
separateurCreated with Sketch.

NYC’s Sheen Center decodes DaVinci in a new exhibition


Leonardo da Vinci | Public Domain

Daniel Esparza - published on 11/09/21

DaVinci on Bleecker: The Last Supper Experience is a show centered on a faithful, full-sized reproduction of, well, Da Vinci’s Last Supper

If you visit the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture (right there on 18 Bleecker Street, one block away from where the legendary CBGB once stood) you will meet people who might not necessarily go to church. In fact, most visitors wouldn’t even know the center is named after archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. And that, in the words of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, “is the genius of the Sheen Center.” Those who go there are clearly interested in art and culture, and while they won’t get the kind of aesthetic and spiritual experience they could get in a church, they might end up being inspired “by the faith that has also inspired much of the arts,” as John Burger puts it. In fact, the Sheen Center understands this is exactly their mission: “to focus on the true, the good and the beautiful, as they have been expressed throughout the ages” and, by so doing, to reach people on the fence, beyond the pews.

Their coming exhibition, DaVinci on Bleecker, surely checks all the boxes. It promises to be truly a good, beautiful one.

DaVinci on Bleecker: The Last Supper Experience is a show centered on a faithful, full-sized reproduction of, well, Da Vinci’s Last Supper —surely one of the most widely known and admired pieces by the Italian Renaissance maestro. And whereas the idea of standing in front of a reproduction of the original masterpiece might not sound as exciting at first, one has to consider at least three thingsthat make this exhibition exceptional.

First, that the original painting is not exactly moveable: it is a mural painting housed in the refectory of the Milanese convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. Second, that the original cannot be seen for more than fifteen minutes: security guards and tour guides will eventually tell you to move on. And, third, that Leonardo’s Last Supper is an embarrassment of riches: a short, 15-minute long glimpse at it is simply not enough to discover everything there is to unveil in what has been considered as one of the most intriguingly symbolic pieces of Western art.This exhibition is all about decoding Da Vinci, as the organizers themselves ingeniously put it: the intimate and enveloping setting in which the reproduction is exhibited provides visitors with a rather unique opportunity to study the masterpiece, close up, as they please.

The family-friendly exhibit will be open from November 15 through December 9. It includes an audio tour, available in English and Spanish, provided free of charge. Included in this experience are the concept materials Da Vinci himself used to create the masterpiece.

All ticketing information can be found at

Make sure to visit the slideshow below for further details on the hidden symbolism in Leonardo’s Last Supper.

ArtNew York
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.