visage ˈvi-zij noun
1. the human face
2. the appearance conveyed by a person’s face
The word visage has appeared in 26 articles on NYTimes.com in the past year, including on Nov. 5 in the Opinion essay “His Face Is Unmistakable. It Is the Face of Protest” by Sara Barrett:
In an article that appeared during the original run of “V for Vendetta,” Mr. Moore credits the idea to base V on Fawkes to Mr. Lloyd, who wrote: “Why don’t we portray him as a resurrected Guy Fawkes, complete with one of those papier-mâché masks, in a cape and conical hat? He’d look really bizarre and it would give Guy Fawkes the image he’s deserved all these years. We shouldn’t burn the chap every Nov. 5th but celebrate his attempt to blow up Parliament!” The book, and the movie that followed in 2006, single-handedly and through a torque of the legend, foisted a new Guy Fawkes, now known as V, into the popular and political culture, just as a new generation of protest movements was getting started.
The mask of V is unmistakable. Its brows, mustache and thin goatee are drawn as if by fist and black marker on an alabaster face. It is now the face of protest, largely anti-government but not exclusively. It’s a face that demands attention, an unsettling visage floating in the sea of yellow vests, umbrellas and black hoods.