Hermann Warner Williams Jr. "The Bequest of Jacob Ruppert." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 34 (July 1939), p. 168, fig. 2, calls the portrait a late work, perhaps from the 1760s, and mentions the nickname by which Paulet was disparagingly known, Captain Sternpost.
Edward Mead Johnson. Francis Cotes: Complete Edition with a Critical Essay and a Catalogue. Oxford, 1976, pp. 15, 66–67, no. 109, fig. 30, dates it about 1762; proposes that Cotes may have based the composition on Reynolds's 1761 portrait of Lord Rodney (Petworth), the engraving of which by James Watson was exhibited at the Society of Artists, where Cotes also exhibited, in 1762.
Stephen Wood. Letter to Katharine Baetjer. April 8, 1998, notes that he wears an admiral's coat and is probably depicted as vice admiral of the White [Squadron].
Katharine Baetjer. "British Portraits in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 57 (Summer 1999), pp. 34–35, ill. (color), observes that although Cotes underpainted but never completed the face, the sitter must have accepted the portrait, which descended in his family; suggests that the commission may have been inspired by his second marriage, in April 1765, or by his succession to the dukedom of Bolton, which took place two [sic] months later.
Katharine Baetjer. British Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1575–1875. New York, 2009, pp. 90–92, no. 39, ill. (color).