Paintings Errol Flynn Owned

21 Aug

Now that I have a little time I would like to place an information on the blog which I have for quite some time.  I asked David to make an Errol' Paintings tab for me to put all the information I have gathered.  Thank you David for obliging me.

It is quite well known that Errol Flynn owned several priceless oil paintings of which two are always shown in one way or another or mentioned in articles or books.  Not to much is known about the any other paintings and how many were there really?
Has anybody facts and figures?  In addition, does anybody know who owns what painting today?

Let's start with one, which is so well known and Errol love it:


Paul Gauguin “Famille Tahitienne”


or “Bathers”, a title which is not well known for the painting.
Painted in 1902, oil on canvas, size 39 1/4 x 28 3/4 (92 cm x 73cm)

This painting was purchase in 1997 by Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts Ltd. in Las Vegas.  I wonder who owned it between 1959 and 1997?  If anybody is going to Las Vegas may have a visit with the painting!
This is the link I found:
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Paul Gauguin, Famille Tahitienne (1902), around $35
million, 1997. Buyer: Steve Wynn.  Broker:
Alex Reid & Lefevre Ltd., London. Auction record for the artist: $24.2

One very funny thing about the link above is – that it is written by Andrew Decker who writes for… and gave me the information of the sale.  The family name is the same – what coincident – but there is no relation to John Decker – I inquired.

There is a website of Wynn Resorts and the picture is in the inventory.  If you want a long corporate reading here it is – have fun.

WYNN RESORTS LTD (Form: S-1/A, Received: 10/07/2002 08:16:38)

That's all for today have fun!

— Tina


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  1. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Wow, Tina, how wonderful that you found out where this painting went – I always wondered! And could not find any information. How did you do this, super sleuth? Great job, keep posting!

  2. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Inga;
    I have this info for quite a while, prior of me joining the blog.
    I always wanted to put Errol's paintings on the blog with as much info on each painting I could acquire. I used to contact art galleries and art dealers to get hints and usually on thing leads to another.
    I wonder how much information Robert has on Errol's paintings and he may add a scoop or two!
    What info do you have about Errol's paintings? You may add your own wonderful sleuth work!

  3. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I didn't have time to dig deep into this subject, I just remember having had a look at what became of his paintings and I think that I found out that one of them is in a museum now… but I'm not sure. So your contributions to that topic will be most welcome! Thanks again!

  4. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Though I am by no means of a conspiratorial mind, it has been rumored that John Decker may have been the painter of Flynn's pieces. Assuming that a buyer like Wynn makes the effort to have a purchase of that expense professionally appraised, I find it unlikely that the painting is fraud. And yet, with all things Flynn……..

  5. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Robert, hm – interesting – something to think about but on the other hand Errol has been photographed with these two paintings of his – namely “Famille Tahitienne” and “The Man Is At Sea” so often during his life time that if they are Decker's artwork-copies wouldn't the rightful owners or somebody knowledgeable about art of the original paintings let it be known that Errol Flynn has a copy or a fake and not the original?
    Don't you think if Errol had Decker's artwork and not an original Gauguin or Van Gogh it would have surfaced somehow over the years that they are copies of some sort? I for one don't think Errol could have kept that a secret, he was much to famous for that and continuously under a magnifying glass.
    I don't think he could state having originals when they where copies and got away with it to this day. If so Robert – how could he got away with it?

  6. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    That is very interesting – which one did you think is in a museum now?

  7. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I think the idea was that it was not a copy of a known piece of artwork, but an original piece of artwork created by Decker in the style of that famous painter? If they are originals, one should be able to check if and where the paintings were displayed before Errol got them?

  8. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I don't remember, I will have a look again if I have some more time, Tina.

  9. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    You say — that it was not a copy of a known piece of artwork??? I do not understand what you mean?
    Gauguin's “Famille Tahitienne” is a known original themes and piece of artwork by Gauguin as depicted in my color photo and on the picture with Errol in it – as painted by him in 1902. The picture on the wall with Errol and my photo is the identical theme – right.
    Decker could take the theme and paint it in his own style that is possible, but then the picture could never look the same way as Gauguin's only similar. If it would look the same then this would be considered a forgery!
    As a matter of fact I am showing in my next post of his pictures something of this very subject.
    In regards to your post I am sure Robert can give us all the expertize details on this subject – right Robert and we will be waiting!

  10. Anonymous

    August 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    My “expertise” has always led me to conclude the paintings were the real thing, for all the reasons you've suggested.

  11. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Thank you Robert!
    Anyway, I am posting today Van Gogh's “The Man is at Sea” another favorite of Errol as he mused hours over this painting too.
    What synchronicity that this painting gives the exact example Inga mentioned and we conversed about it! In this respect this Painting demonstrates very clearly that one can “take a theme of another painter and create ones own masterpiece of course in ones own style!”
    Most likely you knew all about it anyway!

  12. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 5:52 am

    Good, good… but WHERE did the painting come from, i.e. where was it before Errol owned it, or: both of them, in which museum? That was my question. This would prove forever that it was no forgery.

  13. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I thought it is written in MWWW about the smuggling via South America etc.

  14. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Yes, but not WHO owned it BEFORE (before the smuggling). A museum? Private person?

  15. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Just from memory I think that Decker went around Hollywood and painted portraits of various stars and others putting their faces onto the figures in copies of famous paintings. I think one of the Marx Brothers, Harpo, was the subject of one of these paintings? It may even be in the Decker art gallery clip I put up on the blog recently! It's 1:10am and I am up past my bedtime – so don't count on the little grey cells to be working properly…

  16. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Further reading about Decker and possible forgeries:

  17. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I wouldn't call the work of either Gauguin or Van Gogh “masterpieces”.

  18. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    ……So the question lingers – could the worn, dog-eared program to this mysterious show be an anti-treasure map to a world full of classic art forgeries? At the very thought that the question is being asked, somewhere John Decker is raising a glass with a contented chuckle.
    David, great article thanks for posting it! Most interesting reading, leaving everything up for a good guess or a good mystery!
    Where is Nancy Drew to solve the mystery? Hahaha!

  19. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Of the top of my head I would say that a family of Jewish faith, living in one of the countries which were blundered of treasures by the existing NAZI regime, would have owned it.
    To trace that would be the work of a clairvoyant.
    Painted in 1902 – who was the first owner and who were the owners until Errol owned it? It could have been only one owner until the Nazi's got a hold of it?
    Errol bought it in and around 1942- 44 and owned it until 1956/57 when he sold it. (Remember Al Blum's misappropriation)
    Then comes the gap:
    1. To whom did Errol sell it?
    2. How long did this owner have it – until Steve Wynn bought it in 1997?
    So my dear super sleuth you have your work cut out! Good luck!

    • David DeWitt

      May 1, 2018 at 1:13 am

      Reported Commenter adds:

      The Hamblens bought the house furnished. Several paintings were left behind. In the early 1970\’s there was a fire in the storage room off the master bedroom. The fire was set to cover up the theft. The bull fighter behind the bar was the other painting

      • Jack Marino

        December 31, 2021 at 5:19 am

        David, the ONLY fire up at Mulholland was in 1960 when Susie Hamblin was burning Christmas wrapping in the chimney in Errol’s den. The ambers caught on the roof of what was the nursery that Errol had built off this bathroom on the second floor. Stuart went out in the yard with a hose and he put out the roof fire. He decided to enlarge that room to what it was when I was in that room. He had a whole new roof put on that expansion of the room, which they used for all their western gear. The Hamblin’s always rode in the Rose Bowl parade. You can see the new roof in that color photo that Stuart took from an airplane he rented to see how the room came out. You can see the new color of the shingles.

        From what I know the only fire that was up at the house was on the hill behind the house since there were hobos living up in some caves up in the hills and they had a small fire and the grass caught fire. The house was never touched. The newspapers said Errol Flynn’s house burned to the ground. This is typical of what the media does.

        The Hamblin’s lived there from 1959 to 1979. I was told all this by the Hamblin family when we where working on the book ERROL FLYNN SLEPT HERE

        • David DeWitt

          December 31, 2021 at 3:20 pm

          Thanks, Jack! This comment is old, I cannot remember who sent in that info! That for clarify, old boy …

  20. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Ah no, I tried before but to no avail. This track cannot be followed via the internet.

  21. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Them's fightin' woids, mister! However, as I think your paintings pure works of genius by a master's hand I will forgo the results of steppin' outside for a dust-up…

  22. Anonymous

    August 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    You are priceless David!
    I love them woids and steppin' outside for a dust-up! Errol would have had a great dust-up! Like the one with John Huston!
    I wish I could be proficient and know how to write and speak these dialect forms of the American-English, I love them and love to hear them in the movies.

  23. Anonymous

    August 24, 2011 at 6:31 am

    A few years ago the History channel went into about 6 weeks of detail documenting the where abouts of the art of the impressionists. In the 39's and 40's Edward G. Robinson had the largest collection of paintings by the artists Gaugin and Van Gogh in the US outside of a museum. In this documentary, the Nazi's of the 30's was gathering all of the paintings they could lay their hands on and by 1941 had cleaned out the museums of Europe and were holding auctions for wealthy art collectors interested in the vile works of the artists. 2 army officers smuggled German paintings back to the USA and were later discovered in 2002 in Dallas in a bank vault. The finest collection I've seen in 1 place is the Getty museum in Los Angeles. I bought a book about Van Gogh and his paintings and where they are located or if they are owned privately around the world. I know the Iris was sold at auction around 1989-90 for 62.5 million purchased by the Getty museum. I have a few documentaries with Errol referenced to a few of his paintings. What I do remember perfectly was a comment my son made to me. He had heard a comment by Gene Hackman that he had no idea where his Oscar was but he said I know exactly where my painting of Errol is… it's hanging in my living room. I just said, Son no matter what anyone tells you he was well liked.

  24. Anonymous

    August 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Thank you for your kind woids and foregoing my shiner!

  25. Anonymous

    August 27, 2011 at 4:37 am

    Sir Robert, I love you so much I'd give your boots a shine before I would evah take a poke at your snoot!

  26. Anonymous

    August 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Hi Larry;
    Your post is most interesting, I watch the history Channel quite often and I am sorry I missed that series you speak about.
    You say: you bought a book about Van Gogh and his paintings and where they are located or if they are owned privately around the world.
    Did you look up “The Man is at Sea” – what details are given about the painting in your book?
    Furthermore and most interesting, are you saying and are we maybe to believe that Gene Hackman purchased the painting from Errol in 1957 and that Gene maybe sold it to Steve Wynn, of course through a broker – but what ever, this in very interesting information. I wonder if we could find out if Gene Hackman really purchased the painting in 1957.

  27. Anonymous

    August 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I can save you all the effort: Gene Hackman wasn't even acting yet in 1957, and coming from a broken home, was unlikely to have family money enough to by an expensive painting.

  28. Anonymous

    August 27, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    P.S. I just looked up Gene Hackman – he is still alive! We could ask him.
    Who is good to find out how to contact stars? Inga and Robert – right!
    Maybe we can get the answer from the horses mouth?

  29. Anonymous

    August 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Hi Robert:
    You are right! I figured the same as I read his biography – But – he could have owned it later – YES – No? Do you know to whom Errol sold the painting in 1957? Does anybody know? There has to be somebody! Your expertise sure would shed light on this situation! Or who could give this inside scoop? It isn't about a painting without renown – right – a record has to exist! Where do we look for it?

  30. Anonymous

    November 14, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Decker painted most of his works on a wood board not cardboard as mention here. It was a type of Masonite board invented in the mid 1920's and used by artists like Decker. Decker is quotes as stating he like the feel of painting on a hard board. It's worth noting here that Decker made copies of some of his originals and sold them. There are two know Decker paintings of Errol Flynn. One is the original that is owned by Flynn's widow and the other is close copy of the Flynn original Decker did for someone. the copy is owned by John Decker historian, author and collector Charles Heard.

  31. Anonymous

    November 14, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Either way, not much to write home about. If the subject weren't Flynn, no one would have ever paid attention to the painting.

  32. Anonymous

    November 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Is it still in his possession?