The Manimal exhibitions bring together artists who, in diverse mediums and modes, address the relationship between man and animal (and in the case of Miguel Chevalier, the relationship between man and a botanical world, which acquires animal-like characteristics).
The relationship between man and animals has been portrayed in art from time immemorial. Even during the prehistoric era one finds drawings of large animals and human hands in close proximity (e.g. in the Lascaux and Altamira cave paintings), probably as an expression of hunting rituals or shamanic visions.
Thousands of years later, man and animal united to form imaginary creatures: the hybrid gods of the ancient Egyptian pantheon (ca. 3000 BC) and the various Assyrian variations during later periods. These gods, in turn, served as an inspiration for the monsters of classical Greek mythology (such as the centaur, satyr, and faun). The winged man from Assyrian mythology inspired the portrayal of the biblical seraphs, the winged god Eros (later known as Cupid), and the Christian iconography of angels.