NEW YORK - A notable painting by Picasso will undergo repairs after a visitor to the Metropolitan Museum of Art accidentally lost her balance and struck it.

The museum says the accident caused a vertical tear of about 6 inches (15 centimetres) in the lower right-hand corner of "The Actor," painted by the artist during the winter of 1904-1905.

The museum says the damage didn't affect the "focal point of the composition."

Curatorial and conservation staff assessed the painting's condition following Friday's accident when a visitor attending a class struck the artwork in one of the museum's galleries.

The nearly 6-by-4-foot (1.2 by 1.8 metre) canvas depicts an acrobat posed dramatically against an abstracted backdrop.

The museum has about 250 works by Picasso in its collection.