von Grae·fe \fȯn-ˈgre-fə\ , Albrecht Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst (1828–1870), German ophthalmologist. Von Graefe is generally regarded as the founder of modern ophthalmology. In 1850 he founded what was to become one of Europe's leading eye clinics. He described von Graefe's sign for Graves' disease in 1864. His comprehensive seven-volume manual of ophthalmology was published posthumously (1874–1880).