By MICK ROBERTS ©
THE rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney is legendary. That rivalry can even be traced to the bars of pubs in both of Australia’s largest cities.
Melbourne’s Young and Jackson Hotel had become famous for the nude, Chloe – a 260 by 139cm oil canvas painting of a young Parisian girl – hanging in its bar.
Sydney pubs, however, had nothing to rival the beauty or fame of Chloe.
That was challenged in 1954 when Sydney publican, Claude Edwards unveiled “Chloe the Second” in the Sussex Hotel.
Seriously though, there was no reason for the Victorian capital city to get nervous about the real Chloe being dethroned.
Melbourne’s Chloe had been produced by French figure painter Jules Joseph Lefebvre in 1875, while Sydney’s ‘Chloe the Second’ was the creation of “spare-time artist” Edward Bourke.
Bourke, 58, presented his painting to publican Edwards, who unveiled ‘Chloe the Second’ to the public in a corner of his public bar on Monday September 6 1954.
While the original Chloe, a bosomy nude, has graced the walls of Young and Jackson’s Hotel in Melbourne since 1909, the fate of Sydney’s ‘copy’ remains a mystery.
To reinforce Chloe as the queen of pub nudes, the Sussex Hotel closed for business in the 1980s, and was later demolished. Where ‘Chloe the Second’ ended up is anyone’s guess.
High rise apartments now replace the pub on the north-west corner of Sussex and Liverpool Streets, Sydney, where ‘Chloe the Second’ made her unsuccessful attempt to take the crown from her Melbourne counterpart .
© Copyright Mick Roberts 2018
Updated February 2020
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