Books: Tidings Of Color and Joy

An orchid at the Arctic Circle? A chair carved like a sunflower? A teapot shaped like a bellhop? These beauties to behold can be a gift to give

Chagall: The Russian Years, 1907-1922 by Aleksandr Kamensky (Rizzoli; $100). Like the figures in his paintings, Marc Chagall (1887-1985) floated over formal artistic boundaries. This book tracks his flight from the Russian village that gave him his themes and folk style to St. Petersburg and beyond, where he reflected his past in modernism's bright palette and broken planes.

Fantasy Furniture by Bruce M. Newman (Rizzoli; $50). A mythological mahogany bird to cradle an infant in 19th century Russia; jolly Black Forest bears to serve as chair-backs; gilded Venetian settees with shell motifs to turn salons into grottoes: thus did the dreams...

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