Monkey Contemplating Peach is imbued with blessings and symbols of longevity to the receiver, Mr. Katsuizumi, as dedicated to in the inscription. Longevity ranks first among the Five blessings, which include wealth, health, love of virtue and a peaceful death. Peaches have long been symbols of longevity and are considered sacred in China, for its wood was used as a charm against evil in ancient times. An emblem of longevity, the peach is of paramount importance in Chinese culture. The monkey is an important symbol, for its name hou is a pun for a high-ranking noble, and is also symbolic of longevity. The monkey is often paired with the peach of immortality, such as this present painting. Qi positions the monkey upon a rock, a natural symbol of longevity and permanence due to its reliability and hardness. Compositionally Qi makes use of the playful gaze of the monkey who stares in wonder and amusement of gaining the peach, thus de shou? attaining longevity.