General Louis Léonard Antoine Joseph Gaspard Venance Colli-Ricci

Louis Léonard Antoine Joseph Gaspard Venance Colli-Ricci
Piedmontese general who joined the French in 1798 and served in Italy

Born: March 23, 1760

Place of Birth: Alessandria, Italy

Died: March 31, 1809

Place of Death: Alessandria, Italy

Arc de Triomphe: COLLI on the south pillar


A nephew of the Italian writer Vittorio Alfieri, Louis Léonard Antoine Joseph Gaspard Venance Colli-Ricci was also known as Luigi Leonardo Antonio Giuseppe Gasparde Venanzio Colli-Ricci. He joined the army of Piedmont as an ensign in 1773, in 1775 he was promoted to lieutenant, and in 1781 he was promoted to capitaine. Colli-Ricci initially served against the French during the French Revolutionary Wars and in 1793 he was wounded at Argentière. In 1794 he took command of the 2nd Battalion of Piedmontese Chasseurs and in 1795 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. That November Colli-Ricci was wounded in the thigh near Ronchini but less than a week later he was promoted to colonel. In 1796 he commanded the regiment composed of the 1st and 2nd Battalions of Chasseurs and in 1797 he served as chief of staff of the auxiliary division formed near Novare.

As Piedmont had been defeated by General Napoleon Bonaparte and then formed into the Piedmontese Republic, in December of 1798 Colli-Ricci officially passed into the service of the French army as a chef de brigade. Serving with the French Army of Italy, in May of 1799 Colli-Ricci was promoted to général de brigade and then he took the place of the wounded Quesnel in Grenier's division. He next served at Marengo and then in June he served as part of Grouchy's division at San Giuliano. Two months later in August Colli-Ricci served in the right wing under Gouvion St. Cyr and after the defeat at the Battle of Novi he covered the retreat to Pasturana. At Pasturana he was wounded by two shots and a bayonet and taken prisoner.

In December of 1800 Colli-Ricci was exchanged and he immediately joined Loison's division in the Army of Italy. He served at Pozzolo and then in January of 1801 he served at Verona. That April Colli-Ricci began serving in the 27th military division and in 1802 he was promoted to général de division. In 1803 he was named commander of Bastia and in 1804 he became a Commander of the Legion of Honor. Colli-Ricci retired from the French army in June of 1806.


Updated August 2018

© Nathan D. Jensen