Robin George Collingwood was born on 22nd February 1889, in Cartmel, England. He was the son of author, artist, and academic, W. G. Collingwood.
Collingwood attended Rugby School before enrolling at University College, Oxford, where he received a congratulatory first class honours for reading Greats. He became a fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, and remained there for 15 years until he was offered the post of Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Magdalen College, Oxford. He was greatly influenced by the Italian Idealists Croce, Gentile, and Guido de Ruggiero. Another important influence was his father, a professor of fine art and a student of Ruskin.
Collingwood produced The Principles of Art in 1938, outlining the concept of art as being essentially expressions of emotion. He claimed that it was a necessary function of the human mind and considered it an important collaborative activity. He also published other works of philosophy, such as Speculum Mentis (1924), An Essay on Philosophic Method (1933), An Essay on Metaphysics (1940), and many more. In 1940, he published The First Mate's Log, an account of a sailing trip he undertook with some of his students in the Mediterranean.
Collingwood died at Coniston, Lancashire on January 1943, after a series of debilitating strokes.