The Comité Marc Chagall has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Remembering the 1920s--the decade in which Autoportrait sur fond jaune was executed--Chagall affirmed that it was "the happiest time of [his] life" (quoted in J. Wullschlager, Chagall, Love and Exile, London, 2008, p. 333). In 1923, Chagall had returned to Paris beginning an artistic collaboration and a lasting friendship with Ambroise Vollard, for whom the artist illustrated Gogol's Dead Souls and La Fontaine's Fables. By 1926 the artist had signed a contract with the prestigious Galerie Bernheim-Jeune and was complacently observing that his works were bought as soon as his signature had dried (ibid., p. 326). That year, with his wife Bella and daughter Ida, Chagall travelled to Southern France, discovering the light and colors of the Mediterranean coast.
The present work epitomizes the artist's renewed passion for color-- influenced in part by his family's close friendship with Robert and Sonia Delaunay--and fits into a series of self-portraits in various moods and guises that span his entire career. In Autoportrait sur fond jaune Chagall's features are almost caricatured with intense blue eyes and wild hair, conveying the positive, enchanted outlook that characterizes his life in France at the time.