Joseph Smit was a Dutch zoological illustrator. He received his first commission from Hermann Schlegel at the Leiden Museum to work on the lithographs for a book on the birds of the Dutch East Indies. In 1866 he was invited to Britain by Philip Sclater to do the lithography for Sclater's Exotic Ornithology; he prepared a hundred images for the book. He also did the lithography for his friend Joseph Wolf's Zoological Sketches, as well as Daniel Giraud Elliot's monographs on the Phasianidae and Paradisaeidae.
Smit contributed illustrations to John Gould's books on birds of different parts of the world, along with leading Victorian era wildlife artists including Wolf, Edward Lear, William Hart, Henry Constantine Richter and J.G. Keulemans. He also provided many of the illustrations of dinosaurs and other fossil creatures for the popular book Extinct Monsters (1892) by Henry Neville Hutchinson.