The unusually large canvas, measuring 77.25 by 45.38 inches (196 by 115 centimeters), sustained a vertical tear of about six inches (15 centimeters) in the lower right-hand corner in the accident on Friday.
The museum, located on the eastern edge of New York’s Central Park, did not elaborate on why the woman fell.
But The Met said the damage did not impact the “focal point of the composition” and that it should be repaired in the coming weeks ahead of a major Picasso retrospective featuring some 250 works at the museum opening on April 27.
Repair work should be “unobtrusive,” it added.
Painted in the winter of 1904-1905, the work hails from Picasso’s critical Rose Period, when the artist shifted from the downbeat tones of his Blue Period to warmer, more romantic hues.
The period also hints at Picasso’s later embrace of abstraction with his signature cubist style.
Donated to The Met by automobile heiress Thelma Chrysler Foy in 1952, “The Actor” features an acrobat striking a dramatic pose against an abstract backdrop. It was painted on a used canvas that already contained a painting.