Yves Saint Laurent, seen here in 1984, died in June after a long illness. ((Alexis Duclos/Associated Press))

A massive collection of art amassed by the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent is expected to fetch up to $452 million at auction, Christie's has announced.

The auction house unveiled details Saturday of what is being called the largest sale of privately owned art to take place in Paris early in 2009.

The several hundred pieces going on sale include works by Picasso, Goya, Matisse and Mondrian, as well as drawings, art deco pieces, sculptures and antique furniture.

Picasso's cubist work Instruments de Musique sur un Guéridon was one of several masterpieces exhibited at the designer's Parisian apartment. It's expected to fetch up to $60 million.

Saint Laurent, who died in June, amassed the collection over 40 years with his companion and business partner Pierre Bergé.

Bergé, who runs an auction house in Paris, said the decision to sell had been taken before his partner's death.

Bergé, who met his partner back in the 1950s, was the business brains behind the partnership, helping the designer set up his fashion empire.

Bergé told The Guardian newspaper he was selling the items to "turn the page" but added that "even when these objects are gone, they won't leave me."

The auction will be held next February by Christie's at the Grand Palais in Paris. The proceeds will go toward an AIDS foundation Bergé set up himself.